There has been a significant increase in the number of people putting arrangements in place for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Data released this week following a Freedom of Information request by a pension company has revealed that more than 440,000 LPAs were set up in 2015 and around 300,000 registrations had already been made up to August this year.
While it is possible to make arrangements covering finances and property and health and welfare, it is management of financial affairs which the figures suggest is a particular preoccupation (there were 134,311 more of these arrangements.)
Overall there have been almost two million “lasting” agreements made since 2007, which was the year that the old system of Enduring Power of Attorney was abolished – amid fears that the regime was too open to abuse.
It is thought that the increase in the number of people seeking to implement LPAs has in part been driven by the fact that life expectancies are rising and a growing proportion of people are developing neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Only this week, a separate report revealed that dementia accounted for one in eight deaths last year and is now the biggest killer in England and Wales.
Once someone has lost mental capacity, they will no longer be able to make a LPA and their affairs will instead have to be managed through the Court of Protection.