Why a lasting power of attorney matters more now than ever

Whatever way you look at it we are going to have to be better organised in the future. We are part of an aging society and that means we are going to have to take better care of personal affairs along with our health.

The fact is the number of people over 85 in the UK will rise from 1.4 million to 3.5 million by 2035. Over 65s will increase from 17% to 23% of the population in the same time period.On the plus side it looks like there’s going to be less chance of us all getting bored in our retirement – that’s a lot of people to hang out with.

But it also means that unfortunately there are going to be more and more people with long-term health problems.

Just last week the Alzheimer’s Society warned George Osborne to expect to more than a million people to be suffering from the disease by 2021.Of course the best way to prepare for a long old age is to eat well, get plenty of exercise and avoid stress.

But another essential element has to be making sure you have all your affairs in good order. This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney comes in.Making sure that you have someone in place who can legally step in and act on your behalf is an essential part of planning for your later years.

You can set one up relatively quickly and easily and they can cover a whole range of different areas.

For example, you can elect someone to look after your financial affairs or health affairs separately – or it can be as simple as empowering someone to collect prescriptions or pay bills for you.

When you make a Lasting Power of Attorney and give someone the power to act on your behalf, that person becomes what is known as your Attorney and you the Donor.Of course deciding who your Attorney will be is an enormous decision as it comes with a lot of responsibility.

They may have to make a decision about where you live in the future or even sell your house.

This can be such a daunting prospect that many people put it off. But remember that you have to have mental capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, so getting one in place when you are healthy is a much safer bet.

There are two main types of Lasting Power of Attorney.  The Property and Financial Affairs LPA – which covers selling property, paying mortgages, managing investments and paying bills; or the Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – which covers things such as what type of medical treatment you should have and where you should have it.

Deciding what is best really comes down to your personal circumstances, as every single person can be affected differently events.

To find out more about Lasting Power of Attorneys please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss which one would be best for you.