Substantial Increase in Lasting Powers of Attorney

According to new data from the Office of the Public Guardians, newly registered Powers of Attorney (LPA’s), hit a record 800,400 last year, up from 273,600 in 2013.

It is clear as the population ages, LPA’s could become as common as Wills.

An LPA is a legal document, which allows individuals to appoint a trusted person to make decisions on their behalf in cases of lost mental of capacity. LPA’s grant authority for decisions regarding money, property and health. This can range from everyday tasks, such as paying bills to ‘life sustaining’ treatment.

LPA’s are becoming more common as the UK’s population continues to age. While people are living longer, their quality of life may deteriorate, raising the numbers likely to lose their decision-making capacity during their lifetime.

The result is that more people will have to rely on family and friends to make decisions for them in their later life.

By 2026, the Office for National Statistics projects that 14.3 million people will be aged 65 and over in the UK, up from 11.8 Million in 2016.

It is now recommended that more people should be putting LPA’s in place earlier in life, just like a Will. LPA’s act as an insurance policy, because it is not just the elderly who lose decision making capacity, it can happen to anyone at any age.

There are however risks associated with LPA’s. People can be at risk by exploitation of family members, neighbours or acquaintances. The number of Court actions against people with LPA’s for vulnerable people rose by 71% in 2018 on the previous year.

The data found that the Office for the Public Guardian, which manages the register of Powers of Attorney, made 465 applications to the Court of Protection to censure or remove Attorneys or Deputies in 2018, up from 272 in the previous year.

Making improper gifts, and not acting in the best persons interest, were two of the main reasons for having Attorneys censured or removed.

The NHS now recommends that any persons entering hospital for any procedure should have LPA’s in place.

Should you wish to avail yourself of an LPA, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.