86% want families to make decisions, but less than half have a will and just 14% have an LPA. Why?

Last year, we wrote about how there was a spike in demand for will-related services and Lasing Powers of Attorney (LPA), as Covid-19 took hold. But, what if I told you that dementia killed more women last year than Covid-19?

Actually, Dementia is responsible for the deaths of 125 women per day on average - that’s about 5 women per hour and 45,922 women per year. Or, if you like percentages, that’s a huge 15.3% of all female deaths. Conversely, Covid-19 accounted for 12.1% of all deaths.

Of course, it is not just women affected by the disease - it also killed 24,000 men in the last 12 months and is the third most common cause of male deaths after Covid-19 and heart disease, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Despite these worrying numbers, we are yet to see the same spike in wills and LPAs that we did during Covid-19.

Whilst we know planning for the future is usually associated with something exciting - a holiday of a lifetime or a house move perhaps - it’s human nature that we find planning for our death the most difficult thing to do.

In fact, according to Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) 86% of people would like their families to make decisions on their behalf if they were too ill to do so - yet just 14% actually have an LPA in place. Just under half of those surveyed by the SFE (44%) said they even had a will in place at all.

We don't want to downplay the devastating effects of Covid-19 and we applaud those who have sprung into action and taken their future into their own hands. But, I must be clear that if you are one of those who would like your family to act for you, they will not be able to do so without an LPA. It doesn’t matter if you have a will - that will only come into effect after your passing. An LPA will legally allow the person nominated by you to act on your behalf if you become mentally incapacitated. That means they can act upon your wishes regarding any medical care, they can access your bank account and pay any mortgage or bills.

You can only make an LPA while you are of sound mind, otherwise an application will be needed to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed. So, don’t delay as the sooner you can make provisions and plan for your future the better.

If you would like some more information about making a will or Lasting Power of Attorney, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office

Email: l.dalgetty@downslaw.co.uk