New report warns of looming incapacity crisis
Catherine Bailey, partner of GA Solicitors in Plymouth, is highlighting the need for individuals across the region to plan for their futures as a new report shows that an incapacity crisis is looming on the horizon.
The report from SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and independent think tank, Centre for Future Studies, reveals 96% of people in the region have not made necessary provisions should they lose capacity from conditions like dementia. A further 39% admit to having made no provisions at all for later life, including a will, pension, funeral plan or Lasting Power of Attorney.
76% of people in the South West are worried about dementia and losing the ability to make decisions for themselves, but as many as 83% have not spoken about, or even considered, personal medical and care end of life decisions.
73% of people would like a family member to make medical and care decisions on their behalf, but this is only the case if a registered health and welfare LPA is in place. There are currently 928,000 Health and Welfare LPAs registered across England and Wales, compared to the 12.8 million people over the age of 65 – a difference of nearly 93%.
SFE is now urging the nation to act to avoid this incapacity crisis and this is backed and voiced by Catherine who deals regularly with these issues due to her role as a lawyer in the wills, trusts & probate department of a busy law firm.
“It is crucial to have a conversation with loved ones in order to make specific medical and care wishes known – such as, where you are cared for, whether you wish to be an organ donor and whether or not you would want to be resuscitated – otherwise there is a risk your preferences are not taken into account”, says Catherine.
“The importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney should also not be underestimated. This ensures any decisions are made by those you trust and in an efficient and stress-free manner. This is the same for both wills and funeral plans. Without these in place, a very difficult time for your loved ones becomes even more traumatic.”
Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of SFE, said: “Most of us do not like thinking about, let alone talking about, death, disability or disease, despite the fact that it touches all our lives – but it is essential that we do so.
“Whilst it’s great that more and more of us are putting wills in place and establishing plans for finances and assets, far too few of us are planning ahead for our health and care needs and wishes, leaving this to chance.
To download the report, a short video and infographics, visit https://sfe.legal/the-incapacity-crisis-a-nation-unprepared/
Catherine Bailey, partner
For more information, interviews and case studies please contact Miri Buac or Georgie Wilson on 0203 696 5800 / SFE@standagency.com
Notes to editors
· The report titled The incapacity crisis: a nation unprepared was produced by SFE in June 2018. Further research was conducted by Centre for Future Studies. The full report is available for download here: https://sfe.legal/the-incapacity-crisis-a-nation-unprepared/
· The consumer polling was commissioned by SFE in March 2018, which polled 1,977 adults across the UK. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK regions (aged 18+)
About GA Solicitors
GA Solicitors can trace its roots back more than 200 years and has been steadfastly helping the people and business in Plymouth and the South West for its duration. Originally based in Devonport, the firm gets its initials from Thomas Husband Gill who joined the practice in 1875 and later went into partnership with Albert E. Akaster. Now one of the region’s leading law firms, the 75-strong team at the Lexcel-accredited LLP, conveniently accessible at their Plymouth city centre office, is structured around seven practice areas, each comprising its own specialist department:
Wills, Trusts & Probate
SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) is an independent, national organisation of over 1,600 lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.
The main areas of law members cover are: Powers of Attorney, Making a Will, Living Wills/Advance decisions, Tax planning, Asset preservation, Trusts, Probate, Paying for care, NHS Continuing Care Funding, Will disputes, Court of Protection and Elder abuse.
For more information about SFE or our members, please visit www.sfe.legal or call us on 0844 567 6173 to find an SFE member near you.