Record numbers are taking control of their future affairs

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Recent information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that record numbers of people are now applying for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

An LPA is a legal document in which a person can appoint someone they trust as an attorney to make decisions on their behalf regarding their financial matters or health and welfare. The attorney can then act on that person’s behalf if they should lose mental capacity or, in certain circumstances, if the person asks for their assistance in the future.

The ONS figures found that 759,976 applications for LPAs were made in the year to April 2018, which is a 180 per cent higher than five years ago.

Claire Clarke, Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors in Oakham, commented: “We are pleased to see that more and more of our clients are planning for the future and choosing to put LPAs in place. Creating an LPA enables clients to choose attorneys they trust to make decisions for them, if needed. If you lose capacity and do not have LPAs in place there is no one legally appointed to make decisions for you. In such circumstances your loved ones may have to apply to the Court of Protection to act on their behalf. This can be a daunting prospect for your family at an already difficult time and can lead to delays in the administration of your affairs.

“Our new offices in Oakham have been open for two years and in this time our team of Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors has expanded as a result of increasing numbers of clients recognising the benefits of later life planning.”

Hegarty Solicitors opened a new town centre office in Oakham in 2017 and also has offices in Stamford and Peterborough. Abigail Mehta, Solicitor who specialises in advising clients in relation to Wills and LPAs, as well as other areas of estate administration and planning, recently joined the team at Hegarty Solicitors in Oakham. Abigail said: “We are seeing many people who not only wish to take control and make provision for their future, but also want the benefit of professional advice and guidance on the implications of such arrangements. We can take people through the process to make sure decisions are managed according to their wishes.”

Greg Baker, Partner and Head of the Trusts and Probate Department at Hegarty Solicitors, commented: “As the overall age structure of the UK has tipped further towards the later-life age groups, it is now more important than ever to ensure we have the right expertise to help people when planning for their future.

“Our Wills, Trusts and Probate teams at our offices in Peterborough, Stamford and Oakham are expanding to ensure we are well-placed to assist clients dealing with later-life issues.

“We have recently appointed Karon Walton as Head of Court of Protection at our Peterborough office and Andrea Beesley-Hewitt, Associate Solicitor, has recently moved from the Peterborough office to join the team at Stamford. Karon and Andrea’s expertise across a wide-range of later-life planning issues means we can guide people through their options and ensure their assets and wishes are protected.”

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