Research* indicates that there is a significant section of society who haven’t even considered the importance of later life planning.  Whilst most of us understand the importance of making a Will (and maybe still haven’t actually got around to making one!) there is much less understanding of the need and uses for making Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPA). Over a third of respondents had not even heard of an LPA and were unaware of the potential importance it may have for planning their later life.

80% of research respondents assumed that, if they were to lose mental capacity, their family or trusted friends would automatically be able to take control over their financial affairs and make medical decisions on their behalf. Sadly, this is not the case.

What is a LPA? A Lasting Power of Attorney document appoints named people who you choose and trust, to act on your behalf if you are unable to deal with matters yourself – ie due to losing mental capacity or because you need to delegate the responsibility and need help due to physical incapacity or other reason.  You can appoint your husband or wife or partner as your Attorney, together with one or two other people (or these can be in reserve to act only if your spouse is unable).

There are many reasons why we should all seek good advice on estate planning for later life. People are living longer, but not necessarily in the best of health.  Family circumstances and finances may not be as straightforward as they used to be.  We have pension freedoms, investments and savings, separate accounts, properties, complex relationships and blended families all now being part of normal life.  The earlier we start discussing our plans, the easier it will be for us in later life and for our loved ones also.

How do you get the best advice?  Whilst consumers become increasingly sensitive to price, it’s also important to balance this with good advice and good service.  Value for money is key.  Using a trusted adviser who is a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) is important.  The robust standards that are consistently maintained by Institute members ensures that the service they provide is second to none, and knowledge and skills are constantly updated.

*by Direct Line Life Insurance