Capacity and the discussions taking place around capacity are becoming increasingly regular. With a population that has been ageing for a number of years, it is now starting to become apparent that as dementia has increased, added to other health issues, capacity and assessing capacity, has become a much more contentious issue.
Facing a crisis?
The worry now is that the UK may be facing an incapacity crisis. As studies of dementia have revealed more, it’s also shown that it can affect the mental capacity in people of all ages, not just the older generation and this is often overlooked.
It is estimated that by 2025 (in just 6 years) there will be 1.3m* people living with dementia (including undiagnosed) in the UK.
As the level of dementia is predicted to rise and the number of ageing people is increasing, then the level of incapacity is set to grow whereby the impact on families, the economy and the healthcare system may be dramatic.
Care costs are predicted to increase to support the rise in support required, and the impact on handling family affairs will be huge, as the number of Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorneys being made is not matching the growth in incapacity.
There will be impacts to local businesses who do not have business LPAs in place, affecting staff and business partners and their families, and so decision will be left to families and friends, with costs being incurred, the courts possibly being involved and wishes not being adhered to.
More than 60%* of people believe family members will be able to make medical and care decisions on their behalf should the need arise, and that family have the legal power to do so. But unless there is a Health & Welfare LPA in place then this is just not the case.
There is huge public misconception as to how decisions will be made, and by whom, if they are unable to do so themselves. In cases with no LPA then the Court of Protection will become involved, which can be costly, upsetting and give long delays, with outcomes not being what the client, or their family, wishes. Yet 79%* of people in the UK have not even discussed what their wishes would be for care and medical choices (such or organ transplants) if they were unable to make the decision.
Not looking forward
So it is deemed that the UK are simply not planning ahead. We are aware that dementia is an increasing issue that more care is needed and yet we are not considering that this (and other diseases such as stroke) will affect us personally. Yet here at BTWC we are seeing more people come to us about LPAs, but when the capacity has been lost and it is just too late to put an LPA in place. The distress and impact on a family can be huge.
So do we need more education? When discussing Wills, estate planning, our pensions and later life savings should the question of LPAs also be regularly included, as undoubtedly there is a growing need, whether people realise it or not.
The most vital aspect for a Heath and Welfare LPA is to ensure it is done early enough, before any possible signs of incapacity - if there are signs of incapacity the LPA can be disputed. Ensuring capacity can help you and your client in a number of areas for any financial decisions that may be made.
Providing an LPA service to your clients could be vital for the future protection of both their health and their wealth, if they lose capacity then being assured of having someone in place to help make the big decisions can be beneficial for the client and their family.
By working with BTWC to help provide your clients with a LPA, then you also benefit from:
- Gaining more referrals from client family and friends
- Your client remains yours - we keep you up to date at every stage
- You generate additional income
- You keep your competition out
If you have a client who needs an LPA, then if you simply refer them to us, we will do all the paperwork and get it sorted and you will get a referral fee – saving you time and keeping things moving for the client.
*Stats from SFE Report – Incapacity Crisis – a nation unprepared