Recent data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Today’s Wills and Probate has shown the number of lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) granted annually has tripled between 2010 and 2015.
The LPA is a legal document that appoints someone to help you make your own decisions or make decisions on your behalf. Typically, this would be a member of your immediate family, a loved one or a legal professional. Having an LPA in place means you can entrust your decision making to someone close to you in the event that you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself.
The increase in the number of LPAs being granted may be due to a drive to increase public awareness and to encourage people to plan for the future. Last year the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) conducted a campaign which targeted the 25 – 50 age group with information on the benefits of having an LPA in place. Research shows that this group are less inclined to think about issues such as their death but they are also more likely to have young families who are dependent on them, as well as other significant financial responsibilities such as mortgages.
Similarly, campaigns from the Society of Will Writers and leading charities such as Age UK have been engaging with the public to explain how to get an LPA and the benefits they can offer.
Tom Curran, Chief Executive at Kings Court Trust added; “It is good news to see a rise in the number of LPAs being granted as it shows that people are becoming more aware of how and why they should plan for the future. With some experts reporting that as much as 60% of the UK population does not have a Will, it is important that people understand the benefits of planning ahead, regardless of our age or health. Public awareness campaigns like these will hopefully see an increase in in the number of people writing Wills and LPAs.”