According to figures from Carers UK, around one in eight adults in the UK acts as a carer for a loved one. That’s a massive 6.5 million people in total, and that’s only set to continue to grow in the coming years. Every day a further 6,000 people take on caring responsibilities, with the total likely to pass nine million by 2037.
However, a recent survey by YouGov on behalf of Carers Trust has highlighted the lack of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) agreements in place for carers. The survey found that a massive 82% of respondents had not made an LPA, while even among those who had there were concerning gaps in the understanding of the different types of LPA.
But in truth, an LPA is a sensible move in these circumstances. LPAs allow an appointed ‘attorney’ to make certain decisions on behalf of someone if they are no longer able to make those decisions for themselves. They come in two distinct forms – a property and financial affairs LPA, and a health and welfare LPA – though you can go for a combined version which encompasses both.
Having an LPA in place can make life much easier for carers. For example, it may be that the person you care for needs to make changes to their home in order to continue living there, such as the installation of a ramp for wheelchair access. Without an LPA, the carer would not be able to use your money to pay for that ramp, so may end up turning to expensive credit, adding to their worries.
Carers are often best placed to know exactly what is best for the people they care for and what decisions they would make if they still had the ability to do so. An LPA empowers carers to make just those decisions with confidence.
Jon O’Brien from Finance North Estate Planning Services said: “Millions of us act as carers for loved ones across the nation, which can be a stressful role at the best of times. But without an LPA in place, it can make looking after that loved one so much harder. Arranging an LPA is very simple, inexpensive and can deliver peace of mind.”
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