According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, around one in three people born in the UK in 2015 will develop dementia in their lifetime – a worrying statistic. Although age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, the disease does not discriminate. Frontotemporal dementia, for example, most commonly affects those between the ages of 45 and 65.
Currently there are 850,000 people living in the UK with dementia and more than 40,000 of those under the age of 65. Worldwide, it is expected that demential figures will reach 74.7 million by 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050.
Planning for the future – granting a Power of Attorney
These statistics highlight the need for future planning. Unless you have granted a Power of Attorney, no one will have the power to speak up or act for you if you should develop dementia or some other disease, or have an accident which causes you to lose mental capacity.
This applies even to your spouse or immediate family and can cause additional stress and problems with doctors, hospitals, banks and dealing with a multitude of other aspects of your life.
Many people don’t realise that a Power of Attorney is equally as important, if not more important in some cases, than a Will. Whilst a Will covers your assets on death, a Power of Attorney lets you choose the person to act or make decisions on your behalf should you lose capacity.
What happens if you don’t have a Power of Attorney?
If you lose capacity and don’t have a Power of Attorney, it could result in a costly court-based action to appoint a Guardian. The choice of who looks after you and your affairs is taken out of your hands and determined by a court.
A Power of Attorney can be drafted and ready for use within a matter of days as opposed to the year it can take for a guardianship order to be granted, and at a fraction of the cost. In some circumstances a guardianship can cost 10 times or more than a Power of Attorney.
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss a Power of Attorney, or to make an appointment with one of our experienced team, please contact our team.