The Nation’s Naivety Around Lasting Power Of Attorney

Millions of adults are under the impression that, if they were to lose capacity, their loved ones would have the immediate right to make decisions regarding their life, whether they be medical or financial.

The research, by Direct Line Life Insurance, has revealed that 80% of British adults believe that the person they assume will take over their affairs will be granted this privilege without any official document indicating a person’s express wishes.

Only 14% of the population have made a lasting power of attorney (LPA) and that only 6% have legally nominated a person to make decisions on their behalf in the devastating circumstances of them losing capacity.

Without any LPA, a person is leaving the vital and personal decision of who will make decisions on your behalf to the Court of Protection.

In part, this is because 38% of respondents were unaware of what a lasting power of attorney actually is.

However, these statistics are in relative contrast to recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics revealing that the use of lasting power of attorneys (LPA) have astronomically increased over the past decade.

According to the ONS statistics taken from the Office of Public Guardian (OPG), 759,976 application were made in the year to April. This is over thirteen times more than the 52,492 applications that were made during this same time frame in 2008.

The Direct Line report also highlights the unacceptable disparity between prices with huge variances ranging from £320 to £2,500.

Jane Morgan, Business Manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, commented: “The idea that at some point we may not have the capacity to make our own decisions can be distressing and is not something any of us want to think about. However, many people would want legal confirmation that their loved ones can make decisions in future on their behalf if something were to happen to them. Important decisions such as, when to move someone into a home, or sell their property, cannot be taken lightly and it is important that people plan for these situations however uncomfortable it may be. Having a lasting power of attorney in place can avoid additional distress at an emotional time.

“When planning for the future, people should not only consider drafting a lasting power of attorney, but also consider having financial provisions in place for their families. Life insurance and critical illness cover can help look after loved ones financially, paying out a lump sum, to help deal with every day money concerns such as household bills and childcare costs.”

Have you noticed an increase in the uptake of LPAs?

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