Dementia has become the UK’s biggest killer, with 850,000 people in the UK suffering with the disease, affecting the families of 42% of the population. One company has set up a free lasting power of attorney (LPA) service to make it easier for people to prepare their families in case they are affected in later life.
What’s the deal?
The Unforgettable Lasting Power of Attorney Service is the first LPA that’s been specifically designed for people who are suffering for dementia, or are concerned they may do so in future.
The basic service is completely free, providing the information you need to prepare the necessary paperwork so that if you need to you can authorise someone to make financial decisions on your behalf.
The Unforgettable Foundation, a social business that’s been created with the backing of the UK Government, has also developed checklists and guides to help you have those difficult conversations with your family so they can know they are acting on your behalf.
Why should I care?
Most people understand the importance of making a will so their family or loved ones are looked after should the worst happen. But far fewer people think about the growing possibility that they might not always be capable of looking after their own finances.
When people become incapacitated it can be very difficult and expensive to give someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf, and they might not be confident they’re making the decisions you would have wanted.
Instructing a lawyer to prepare an LPA typically costs hundreds of pounds, rising to thousands in many cases.
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What’s the catch?
While Unforgettable’s service means you won’t need to pay to make your LPA, there is still an application fee to register the paperwork at the point when the LPA takes effect, meaning someone can act on your behalf.
This charge is hundreds of pounds, and applies whether or not the application is successful, meaning getting it wrong can be expensive. Unforgettable also has a verification service, which for £79 means your application will be reviewed by a fully qualified lawyer, and they’ll cover the costs if your application to register the paperwork isn’t successful.
What are my other options?
Any family lawyer will be able to set up an LPA, though this could be expensive. You can also read about the process yourself at Gov.uk.