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Thinking of what might happen to us as we grow older can naturally seem daunting and often becomes something that people don’t like to discuss with friends and family or plan for.

Our many years of experience in helping people to deal with the affairs of loved ones who have lost mental capacity and issues relating to Wills, Estates and Probate have shown us just how important it is to plan for later life.

Thinking even further ahead, if you have concerns about your future health or ability to make decisions, it can be very helpful to talk to the people closest to you today about those concerns and seek the appropriate expert advice.

A little planning now regarding your estate and who you want to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable to, can offer peace of mind that your needs and wishes will be met further down the line, but also make the process easier for your family and friends.

Anxiety over ageing

Ageing is something that happens to us all, and it’s something that many people worry about, in fact a recent poll commissioned by Irwin Mitchell of 2,000 adults found the average adult starts to worry about getting old at the age of 40.

Three quarters of the population say they worry about getting old, with seven in 10 specifically anxious about suffering from dementia. But a staggering 95 per cent of respondents haven’t put any plans in place to deal with a dementia diagnosis. Eight in 10 Brits admit they have no idea what causes dementia, with a further 40 per cent being unaware of any dementia symptoms. Yet more than 225,000 people are diagnosed with dementia each year with the number of sufferers expected to top 1m by 2025.

How to prepare

The research shows that despite many people being concerned about aging and developing dementia, the vast majority haven’t done anything to prepare for their later life in the event they should suffer an illness or accident that affects their capacity.

Very few people have a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place but failing to do so can cause a legal headache over who should be making decisions in future because no one has an automatic right to make decisions for someone else. Family and friends may dispute who is best placed to make the big decisions about finances and potentially healthcare and the court of protection would need to be involved.

An LPA takes away that worry but it’s really important that people making a will or LPA speak to their family members and explain their decisions and wishes. This can avoid lengthy disputes in future as their intentions are less of a shock and people know what to expect.

An LPA gives an individual the right to manage the most personal aspects someone’s life. It is the most important of their life so it is essential to get it right.

A Dementia Friendly Law Firm

Because of the work we do concerning helping people prepare for later life and the care of elderly and vulnerable people, we see first-hand the impact conditions such as dementia can have on our clients and their loved ones.

Our experience drives our commitment to becoming a dementia friendly law firm and, to mark Dementia Awareness Week 2017, we offered and encouraged all of our employees the opportunity to become Dementia Friends.

In the last week, we created 424 new Dementia Friends, in addition to those already trained, in the hope of offering better support and understanding to clients living with the condition, while raising awareness of dementia in the communities we operate in.

Dementia Awarness Week

Published: 11 May 2017


A moment of clarity

May 2017