86% in the South West leave life-changing decisions in the hands of strangers
- Alarming new report reveals people in the South West leaving major decisions about housing, assets and care to chance
- 82% want loved ones to make decisions in the event of illness or accident – but only 8% have created a lasting power of attorney (LPA)** to enable this
- People in the South West better at planning for death than later life; 49% of people with a will vs. only 8% with an LPA
- SFE accredited member Samantha Piper from independent Bristol law firm Meade King LLP urges UK to safeguard wishes in the event of accidents or illness like dementia
86% of people in the South West are currently living with no control over important later-life decisions around their housing, assets, health and care according to a new report by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the national organisation representing legal professionals specialising in helping people plan for later life.
The report reveals that whilst 49% of people in the South West have a will in place to manage their affairs after death, only 8% have a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place to safeguard their wishes in the event they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves due to accident or illness like dementia.
82% want a family member or friend to make important decisions on their behalf in the event of illness or an accident. However, few are aware that without an LPA in place any individual's affairs such as their end-of-life wishes and health treatments can be left in the hands of third parties appointed by the court, medical doctors or the British courts.
Even the minority of people that have taken steps to plan ahead for later life may still be at risk due to poor quality legal advice and invalid documents. 65% of 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.
Comment from Meade King's Samantha Piper.
“It is not something many of us want to think about but making sure that our choices have been taken into account when we are unable to make such decisions for ourselves is clearly vital. Having arrangements in place should things change as we get older really does provide us with peace of mind. It is essential that these arrangements are done properly and that we are clear about our options.”
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 can’t?’go to: http://www.sfe.legal
**Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
An LPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to manage your affairs, such as your property and finances or your health and care, if you become too ill due to an accident or illness like dementia.
SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) is an independent, national organisation of over 1,500 lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.
To speak to a member of our Tax and Estate Planning team, please call 0117 926 4121.