Dementia fears fuel increase in Lasting Power of Attorney

Many more people are looking to put arrangements in place for Lasting Power of Attorney, Carter Lemon Camerons’ private client partner Ian West has said.

It is understood that the growing number of people being diagnosed with dementia in later life has encouraged many to put their affairs in order, ensuring that the necessary preparations have been made should they lose mental capacity.

There has been increased awareness of conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, which is now the second biggest killer of women and a growing health concern for those over the age of 55.

Recent statistics revealed that the number of Lasting Power of Attorney applications had risen by around 89 per cent between 2013 and 2015.

There had been some suggestions that the dramatic increase had left the Office of the Public Guardian – the body responsible for recording all applications – struggling to cope.

The organisation has attempted to play down the impact of the additional caseload, insisting that it was continuing to meet its customer service targets.

In its annual report, the OPG said: “The increase in applications placed significant pressures on ageing technology and we have operated a seven day working week since December 2014 to ensure applications are processed within target.

“New scanning and case management systems are being developed to allow us to process further forecast increases in applications.”

However, the increase in applications to the OPG should not deter anyone from making a Lasting Power of Attorney.

It should be remembered that a Lasting Power of Attorney can also be used to deal with a person’s affairs before the loss of mental capacity and is thus a useful tool in arranging one’s affairs in the event of physical or mental incapacity, whether temporary or permanent.

If you require advice on Lasting Power of Attorney please contact Ian.