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Our Survey Finds Half of Over 40s Don’t Feel Prepared For Their Financial Future

New research shows the vast majority of British people say they are concerned about dementia and would want family to look after their assets if they were living with the disease – but most also admit to making no provision to ensure that’s the case.

Our survey of over 1,000 people revealed that only 13% of over 40s have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) showing many people are not planning ahead and choosing who they would like to make decisions for them in future.

More than 225,000 people are diagnosed with dementia each year with the number of people living with it, expected to top 1 million by 2025.

With this in mind, it becomes even more important to ensure LPA’s are put in place to help avoid legal battles over wills and estates because of issues relating to dementia.

Irwin Mitchell’s survey of over 1,000 people across the UK reveals:

  • Only 13% of over 40s have an LPA, a legal document that enables friends or family to manage a person’s finances
  • Almost 80% of people wanted family members to look after their finances in the event of a dementia diagnosis
  • Almost half of those surveyed did not have a will
  • Two thirds of people say they have not spoken to family members about how they might wish their finances and assets to be managed in the event that they are deemed no longer able to make their own decisions
  • While 15% say they haven’t talked to anyone about planning their finances for later life, only 8% have visited a solicitor and just 5% have spoken to a financial advisor or accountant.

The survey was conducted to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week, held in May this year, to encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their worries by addressing dementia directly and talk to each other as well as seeking support from the Alzheimer's Society.

Expert Opinion - Paula Myers, Partner

“Our research paints a worrying picture about the lack of planning for later life financial and legal issues which could potentially cause serious headaches for families members to sort out in future.

“Failing to have a lasting power of attorney can cause a legal headache over who should be making decisions. Family and friends may dispute who is best placed to make the decisions and the Court of Protection could step in.

“An LPA takes away that worry and gives people the knowledge that the people they want to make decisions on their behalf will be able to in the event they are found to have lost mental capacity.

“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. Our research shows that while many people are concerned about losing mental capacity in the future, and know that they would like family members to look after their assets, hardly anyone is doing anything to prepare for any future issues.

“If someone loses mental capacity but doesn’t have an LPA, big decisions about finances and healthcare may need to be made by the Court of Protection to ensure they are legally sound and deemed to be in the best interests of the person concerned.”

Paula Myers, Partner

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised or would like more advice please contact Paula Myers on 0113 394 6832 or email paula.myers@irwinmitchell.com.

Key Contact

Paula Myers