More to Be Done to Protect County’s Residents
Pauline Davies, Head of the Private Client Wills & Probate Department has praised the latest statistics released from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) which show a surging increase in the numbers of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) over the past 12 months, but claims the rise is simply not high enough.
“Figures just out from the OPG – the body responsible for recording all LPAs – show that there were 18% more LPAs arranged in the first quarter of this year than there were during the same period in 2015, which is hugely reassuring.” Pauline said.
“An LPA is a vitally important legal document which enables an individual to grant authority to someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf should they become mentally incapable of doing so. There are two types – one covers what happens to their financial affairs, property and assets and there is another for decisions on where they should live and the type of healthcare they should receive. You can appoint the same people, or different people, depending on your wishes.
“The fact that we’re seeing more individuals applying for LPAs demonstrates a growing desire to determine what should happen to them and their affairs should they lose mental capacity. The fact that these recent figures are also complemented by a substantial decrease in the numbers of appointed Deputyships over the last year – those appointed by the Courts to handle an individual’s affairs after incapacitation – also shows that individuals are taking a really important step in looking ahead to the future.
“Whilst this is of course hugely positive, there is still a phenomenal way to go to ensure that individuals across the county are fully protected and that they themselves, as well as their assets and their families, are dealt with as they would wish. A Lasting Power of Attorney is arguably more important than a Will for the person concerned as it affects what happens during their lifetime, and with official figures reporting that as much as 60% of the UK population don’t have any kind of written will let alone an LPA, it is more important than ever that people understand the very real benefits of planning ahead.”