Home One in three could benefit from a Lasting Power of Attorney

One in three could benefit from a Lasting Power of Attorney

Press Release: December 10, 2009

Latest statistics show that around 2,000,000 people in England and Wales lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and around 15,000 people under the age of 65 already have dementia. But now there is a simplified way to appoint someone to look after things for you, if you become incapable of doing so yourself.

Oxley & Coward Partner, Jayne Jackson, said: The process of initiating an LPA is quite straightforward; however a bit like wills it seems to be something that few of us get round to sorting out, especially when we are healthy and not worrying too much about later life. The message is clear; sadly many of us will be affected by dementia in later life, putting an LPA in place now will ensure your affairs are dealt with as you would wish, that loved ones and friends will have a less stressful time trying to guess what you would have wanted.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were first introduced two years ago and they allow individuals to appoint someone to act as their attorney, to deal with their personal welfare or their financial affairs. The LPA replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) and offered two advantages. Firstly they settled any worry about someone being pressured into the agreement, as an independent person has to certify in the LPA that the donor understands what they are doing and has not been the victim of undue influence. Secondly, under the old-style EPA an attorney was only authorised to deal with the donors finances, but LPAs can be used to cover personal welfare as well.

For health and welfare LPAs, this can include the attorney making decisions on areas such as medical treatment and where the donor lives. The attorney can even be given authority to refuse life sustaining treatment.

Although the launch of LPAs was welcomed two years ago, they have been criticised for their length and lack of user-friendliness. But the Office of the Public Guardian has recently launched a shorter and simpler form, which can be filled in on-line and printed off.

Given the alarming new statistics, it is important that we all plan ahead. Even those who have done an EPA should take advantage of the fact that LPAs provide the opportunity to appoint someone to look after their personal welfare. And for those already suffering from the onset of dementia, its important to find a lawyer who understands your situation, concluded Jayne Jackson.

Oxley & Coward Solicitors provides advice on legal and financial matters for people suffering from dementia through the Alzheimers Society as a member of LawNet - a network of independent, quality assured law firms throughout the UK and Ireland.

For advice and guidance on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), including a FREE initial discussion, call Oxley & Coward on 01709 510999, visit www.oxcow.co.uk or e-mail jayne.jackson@oxcow.co.uk or probate@oxcow.co.uk


Note to editors:
The Office of the Public Guardian supports and promotes decision making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. See: http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/
Around two million people in England and Wales lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and 15,000 people under the age of 65 have dementia. For more details please see The Mental Capacity Act: Media Snapshot Guide [PDF 0.19mb, 2 pages], and the Department of Health National Dementia Strategy [PDF 1.52mb, 102 pages].
The Alzheimers Society is the chosen charity for LawNet and staff at member firms have collected over £24,000 this year, with activities that include a Three Peaks challenge in Yorkshire.

Further information, contact Oxley & Coward Solicitors on 01709 510999, visit www.oxcow.co.uk or e-mail mailbox@oxcow.co.uk
ENDS

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Ref: OXCOW039 LPAs

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Jon GardnerJon Gardner

Tel: 0114 275 69960114 275 6996

Email: info@beyondpr.co.ukinfo@beyondpr.co.uk

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