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LPAs - 86% of people leave life-changing decisions in the hands of strangers

November 2015

An alarming new report reveals the number of people who leave major decisions about housing, assets and care to chance.

In a nutshell:

  • 86% of people in the Yorkshire and Humber region are currently living with no control over important later-life decisions around their housing, assets, heath, and care
  • 84% of people in the UK want loved ones to make decisions in the event of illness or accident – but only 7% have created a lasting power of attorney (LPA) to enable this.
  • People are significantly better at planning for death than they are at planning for later life; 39% of people have a will vs. only 7% with an LPA

Emma Irons an SFE accredited solicitor member of Wrigleys comments "This is an enlightening report by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly). In conclusion, we urge everybody who does not have a lasting power of attorney to seek advice. Without one, you are unable to safeguard your wishes in the event of accidents or illness like dementia."

Without an LPA in place, any individuals’ affairs, such as their end-of-life wishes and health treatments, can be left in the hands of third party solicitors, social workers, medical doctors, or the British courts.

Even the minority of people who have taken steps to plan ahead for later life may still be at risk, due to poor quality legal advice and invalid documents. Within the Yorkshire and Humber region, 38% of the people with LPAs in place did not use experts or legal guidance, instead taking a gamble using online resources, non-legal advisers, or off-the-shelf kits.

Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of SFE, said: “Most people assume that if they suffer an illness or accident, their next of kin will be responsible for vital decisions. The reality is starkly different – loved ones may not be able to make a decision on your behalf unless you have an LPA in place.

An LPA is by far the most powerful and important legal document an individual can have. If you have children, own a home, or have views on your preferred health treatment, we urge you to go to an expert to get the right advice.”

 

SFE is an independent, national organisation of professionals, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, committed to providing the highest quality of legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.   

 

 

To download the report ‘Who will decide for you when you cant?’ go to: http://www.sfe.legal

 

November 2015

 

Emma Irons View Biography

Emma Irons

Solicitor
Sheffield

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