Four in five UK adults do not have Lasting Power of Attorney

Around four out of five adults (78%) across the UK have not registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), new research from Canada Life has indicated.

This figure includes 77% of the over-55 age group.

There are two types of LPA, the first can be registered for health and welfare needs, when an individual might need someone to make decisions on their behalf around medical needs, daily routines or even decisions on moving into care. LPAs can also be registered for someone to make decisions on their behalf around property and financial needs, if that person is unable to do so individually.

Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Canada Life, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed there has been a 26.5% reduction in the number of LPAs registered in the 2020/21 tax year compared to the previous year. In total, 636,628 registrations were completed, which was split between 282,883 health and welfare, and 353,745 property and finance LPAs.

This compares to 866,272 registrations in the previous tax year of 2019/20, which was split between 382,130 health and welfare and 484,142 property and financial. This was the peak year for registrations to date.

Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully, commented: “Lasting power of attorneys put in place a valuable safety net and can provide reassurance at hugely difficult times for both you and your family. The very low uptake in registering LPAs, especially among the over-55 age group, is likely because of the lack of awareness of what they are and the resulting benefits from having them.

“You can very simply put in place each type of LPA which can provide significant peace of mind, although worth considering even simple LPAs can take 20 weeks to put in place.

“Our recent FOI revealed the number of LPAs registrations fell during the pandemic, which went against the huge increases seen in registrations in the previous five years. This is partly due to the processing changes that needed to be made at the start of the pandemic and the resulting backlog caused.

“LPAs are incredibly powerful legal documents and very easy to register while you have the mental capacity to do so, and you will know your affairs and needs would be looked after by the person you nominate.”

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