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Personal Law Partner , Ann Christian, highlights the need for a positive conversation about Lasting Power of Attorney's (LPA's) toempower your loved ones and make the decision-making process easier for everyone.
New research reveals 99% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber have made no provisions for conditions like dementia and more than a third admit they haven't planned anything at all for later life, which signals a looming crisis.
The report by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and independent think tank, Centre for Future Studies, looked at how many people have made necessary provisions in case they lose their mental capacity due to a condition such as dementia. The research also revealed that 35% haven't done anything for their future, whether it's making a will or taking out a pension, funeral plan or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
However, 80% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber admitted they worry about losing the ability to make decisions for themselves, which an LPA would take care of. The powerful legal document allows a person to choose one or more individuals to make decisions for them if they become incapable of doing so for themselves.
Ann Christian, who specialises in LPAs, said: "These startling figures reveal how many people are leaving medical and care preferences to chance. As it stands there are 12.8 million people aged over 65 in England and Wales, who run the risk of developing dementia, but just 928,000 Heath and Welfare LPAs registered, which is a difference of 93%. At some point, this is going to expose a major crisis.
"We also regularly see people who have made provision for a family member to look after their finances, but do not appreciate that health and welfare decisions must be dealt with separately. By their very nature, LPAs can be very complicated areas of law and stir up emotional and moral issues so it's important to always seek specialist advice from a reputable advisor.
"It's much easier and cost-effective to have a Health and Welfare LPA, rather than trying to determine what a person would have wanted, once they have lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves. They also then face having very personal choices being made by someone they don't know."
Ann adds: "Once the LPA is in place, people can then have conversations with loved ones to make specific medical and care wishes known - such as where they will be cared for, whether organs should be donated and even if resuscitation should take place.
"Planning ahead by talking to family or friends shouldn't be seen as doom and gloom, it's about having a positive conversation about welfare, empowering your loved ones and making the decision-making process easier for everyone."
For further advice please contact Ann Christian on 01943 885 782 or ku.oc1701661483.fcl@1701661483naits1701661483irhca1701661483
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