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It was announced this week that dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales.

The announcement, viewed alongside figures from the Alzheimer’s Society that the number of people with dementia will escalate to a million over the next decade, highlight the vital importance of having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

Behind every single dementia case, there are likely to be family members struggling to cope as the person begins to lose mental capacity. However what many people do not realise is that they need to have been given the legal authority to handle the financial affairs of a loved one when that person still has mental capacity. Without it, financial institutions will likely refuse to liaise with family members who may be trying to assist the person losing capacity.

This vital document is known as a Lasting Power of Attorney and it should be noted that there are two types; one for Property and Financial affairs and one for Health and Welfare.

However, 85% of the UK adult population do not have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place and are therefore unprepared should illness or accident impact their ability to make decisions for themselves in the future.

Once they’ve lost their capacity, it’s too late to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney and the alternative route is expensive and time consuming.

The message to take from rising threat of dementia is to act now to draw up Lasting Powers of Attorney in order to make matters easier on your loved ones should they need to step in and assist you in the future. Like writing a will, it’s a vital task on the financial to do list and something that should be done when it is least needed – well before it’s too late.

To find out more about drawing up a Power of Attorney, view our video here, or get in touch.

Karmen Ko (
Telephone 0207 539 4138


Standout firm known for its personal insolvency work for clients including private companies, individuals and governmental institutions. Frequently acts for insolvency practitioners, assisting with the realisation of assets, both in the UK and abroad.

Chambers and Partners

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