New figures show a huge increase in Lasting Powers of Attorney

Posted May 10, 2019.


Use of a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’), a legal mechanism and agreement that lets an individual  appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help them make decisions or to make decisions on their behalf, has increased by 300% over the past five years. Statistics provided by the UK’s family court regarding LPA’s show that new LPA’s exceeded 800,000 in 2018, compared to 273,000 in 2013.
 

As common as a will


Solicitors specialising in wills and LPA’s will not be surprised by this dramatic increase; as the UK population ages (on average) and individuals live longer than previous generations, formalising control of one’s financial and health related decision making is becoming increasingly important.  With the Office for National Statistics (ONS) predicting that the UK’s over-65 population will exceed 14.3 m people in the next seven years, many experts expect the LPA to become as common place as a will. LPA’s give individuals comfort in knowing that a nominated individual (or individuals) will take care of a wide range of financial and/or health related tasks and decisions should they lose the mental capacity to do so themselves. 

LPA concerns


As important as an LPA can be, many solicitors specialising in wills and LPA’s sound a note of caution regarding their use, highlighting that if not handled properly, an LPA could eventually put a vulnerable individual at risk of being exploited by the attorney’s they appointed. Legal disputes  involving existing LPA’s  are on the rise, and UK government statistics show that applications to remove or admonish attorneys have almost doubled in a year, with not acting in a vulnerable person’s best interests and granting of improper gifts being the main areas of dispute. 

Get professional advice

If you need help with probate, a will or a lasting power of attorney, Bakers Solicitors have friendly and approachable experts who are here to help. Call now on 

(01252) 744637  and speak to Simon, our Estate Planning Manager, or email simon.speed@bakerssolicitors.com