Gaining Expert Understanding on Issues Around Capacity and the Elderly
In November, ‘The Will Writing Industry in 2018’, report found that 6% more of the population made a Will in 2018 than in the previous year. 45% of Britons now have a Will; this figure has increased from 39% recorded in 2017.
The trend of older age groups making a Will has also continued to grow this year. 75% of people aged over 55 now have a Will, with 79% of retirees ensuring that they have a Will in place.
Even 34% of the population without a Will admitted that if they became ill, they would consider making a Will to be a priority. However, this could become a problem if the illness involves the brain and causes a swift lack of capacity.
Currently, 209,600 people develop dementia each year in the UK. Therefore, it is increasingly important to ensure adequate safeguards are in place for society’s vulnerable as they begin to lose capacity.
Recently updated Freedom of Information Act figures from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) have indicated a significant increase in the exploitation of those lacking capacity by the deputies and attorneys that have been placed in a position of ultimate trust.
1,362 investigation visits were made by the OPG last year, to assess the actions of attorneys and deputies; this was a 32% increase on the 1,030 visits a year earlier. Additionally, the World Health Organization has found that one in six people suffer from elder abuse worldwide.
As our older population increases and dementia related illnesses also continue to rise, there is a genuine anxiety that the number of innocent people being abused could also escalate. Failing to prepare or consider these issues when working with vulnerable people or those on the verge of losing capacity, could leave you and your business exposed.
Although the responsibility of a person writing a Will or drawing up LPA documents is to assess capacity and ensure the donor is not making decisions under duress, it is vital to ensure your procedures and approaches are beyond reproach.
With the exploitation of our older population and of people lacking capacity increasing, it will become even more important to record the process you have taken as well as highlighting your current, up to date and expert understanding of working with the elderly and issues around capacity.
As we enter 2019, make sure you start it by protecting yourself and your organisation by taking advantage of the excellent training opportunities the Institute of Professional Willwriters is offering on these pertinent issues.
On Tuesday, 15th January, The Willwriting Academy Limited – the CPD-accredited training arm of the IPW – is running a course on Mental Capacity and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
To ensure that your knowledge and understanding of LPAs, advance decisions, the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice, and issues around testing for capacity, are relevant, click here for booking arrangements.
Similarly, to fully grasp issues affecting elderly clients, including: care fees and mitigating these fees, pre-paid funeral plans and the market for the elderly, then signing up for the Advising the Elderly course on the 29th January will ensure you are well versed to best help this sector of society.
It is time to make sure you are not left behind with constantly adapting legislation concerning these extremely important issues by utilising Willwriting Academy Limited CPD courses.