Which is more important; Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) or Wills?

We would say that they are of equal importance.

A Will ensures insofar as is possible (i.e. in the absence of any successful challenges / claims) that your wishes are carried out after your death.

Lasting Powers of Attorney give you the opportunity to appoint trusted people to make decisions on your behalf whilst you are still living, including if you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to a temporary or permanent loss of mental capacity.

Less than half of the adult population have a Will in place, but a staggering statistic is that less than 1% have LPA(s) in place. A significant percentage of the adult population have no knowledge at all of LPAs.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one in 3 of the over 65’s in our population are living with dementia it is essential to consider making LPAs so that there is someone in place with status to make decisions regarding your financial and property affairs and your health and welfare.

Aside from dementia, there are a number of reasons why you may be unable to make a decision for yourself in the future such as cognitive impairment following stroke, brain injury or other medical conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.  Registering LPAs gives you, and those who would want to step in to assist you, peace of mind that this will be possible immediately upon there being a need for assistance.

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