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Don't leave your life in the hands of a stranger

Solicitors for the Elderly have looked into a situation that many families across the Country face each day. There are over two million people in the UK who cannot make decisions for themselves because of capacity issues. Every family of someone who lacks capacity has the potential to suffer unnecessary stress, worry and heartache if affairs have not been put in order and legal documents signed.

Whilst many of us say "it will never happen to us", none of us know what is round the corner and whether we will still be in the same situation tomorrow as today. So why not be prepared for the what if?

There are many myths about what you can do for someone who lacks capacity. You cannot make decisions for them just because you are married, have a joint account or have a third party mandate on a bank account. Doctors have no legal duty to liaise with you about medical treatment, local authorities do not have to take family instructions about ongoing care. Lasting Powers of Attorney give this authority to those who are nominated to act as attorney for someone with a capacity problem.

There is no point in waiting for the future. There is no point in waiting until someone begins to lose capacity. It may be too late. You put house insurance and car insurance in place to compensate you if there is damage just as you do with life insurance but do you put vehicle breakdown cover in place too? If you do why not do the same for you by preparing a lasting power of attorney. The emergency cover just in case you breakdown.

It is scary to see that only 7% of adults have a lasting power of attorney in place compared to 39% of people having a will. The figure for those having made a will should be much higher

but those having a lasting power of attorney should definitely be higher! It seems we pay more attention to what happens on death than what happens during our later life. Research from Solicitors for the Elderly shows that more than 84% of people wanted their family or friends to be able to make decisions on their behalf if they became ill but less than 1 in 10 of this 84% had done anything about a power of attorney.

Yes, you can make these documents yourself. You can download the forms and complete them yourself. After all, we are all good at filling in forms! However self completion of powers, poor quality legal advice from unregulated advisers, unworkable instructions and easily challenged documents can all result from not taking the correct advice. Yes, there are costs attached to seeing a lawyer to prepare these documents but this is the best investment you may ever make. Lawyers do fill in the forms but the advice and expertise you receive from a lawyer will outweigh the costs of preparing the forms. What price do you put on peace of mind for your family?

If you want or need to prepare lasting powers of attorney don't put it off. These documents are the only way to ensure your feelings, wishes and beliefs are heard in the event you lose capacity.

The Argo team are experts in preparing lasting powers of attorney, not just in the application of the law but in respect of how lasting powers of attorney can change lives. What you see with us is what you get. A listening ear to ensure that you achieve your wants and wishes and transparent, easy to understand advice which works for you and your family. Let us help you to ensure that the important decisions about your life does not fall into the hands of a complete stranger.


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