It is fair to say that here in the UK; we are not comfortable when it comes to discussing death.
However, that appears to be changing. A poll by ComRes in April last year into attitudes to death and dying, conducted for the National Council for Palliative Care found that most of us think it's more acceptable to talk about dying now than it was 10 years ago.
This can only be a good thing as it means that important paperwork, like Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are being discussed more openly and acted upon, as not talking about these subjects can cause great problems and heartache for families.
As solicitors here in New Brighton, we are glad to say there are many people who now come and see us as they contemplate the end of their lives, but sadly too many still do not.
Whilst a Will gives great peace of mind for loved ones and allows a person to detail exactly what they want to happen with their lifetime’s assets after they pass on, Lasting Powers of Attorney also need highlighting, particularly at a time where many people can continue living for many years with degenerative conditions, such as dementia or stroke.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack the mental capacity to do so at some time in the future. It is important that you do not leave taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney until it’s too late. You can only take out a Lasting Power of Attorney when you can still make decisions yourself, you must not lack mental capacity.
Thousands of families in the UK each year endure bureaucratic nightmares, because there is no Power of Attorney in place.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows people to manage your property and financial affairs and your health and welfare to ensure you get the care, treatment and day-to-day routine that you want.
It’s worth emphasising that once a Lasting Power of Attorney is in place it does not mean the person can no longer make decisions for themselves. They can continue just as before, but the appointed attorney is there just in case.
We hope dying awareness week will help many families discuss subjects which need highlighting, but are too often not talked about leaving great problems for those left behind.
If you wish to talk to experts about making a Will or Lasting power of Attorney, please call us today on 0151 639 9595.