Over-55s are confused about LPAs, study suggests

A new study has revealed that a large number of over-55s are confused about Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

In the UK, setting up an LPA enables relatives, carers or close family members to handle either the property and financial affairs – or the health and welfare affairs – of a loved one who has lost the ‘mental capacity’ to look after such matters themselves.

However, a survey of more than 1,000 over-55s recently published by FT Adviser suggests that many older Britons do not fully understand what an LPA is, or how it works.

It reveals that around 40 per cent of over-55s are unsure what the differences are between a property and financial affairs LPA and a health and welfare LPA.

Naturally, the difference between each lies in their name – while the former enables trusted family members to look after bills, money and the sale of any property, the latter enables such representatives to make important decisions in relation to health and care.

Experts have said that the lack of understanding highlighted by the study is problematic, as it suggests that many Britons are failing to seek specialist advice to cover all eventualities in their future.

This is despite the fact that the latest figures from the Alzheimer’s Society suggest that the number of Britons living with dementia or similar conditions will rise sharply over the next few years.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.