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Only 7% of Britons have created a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) document, a new survey by YouGov has revealed. The survey conducted for Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) startlingly showed that of this 7%, less than half had opted to use a solicitor to make this all-important document.

An LPA can only be made when an individual still has the capability. It allows you to appoint another trusted person(s) in your life to make decisions for you in the event that you cannot in the future. There are two types of LPA: one is to deal with property and financial matters, the other is for dealing with health and welfare affairs.

Within the survey, 84% of respondents said they would want a loved one to make decisions for them in the event of illness or a severe accident left them incapable. The difference between this 84% who would like decisions made on their behalf, compared to the 7% who have actually acted on it, is huge.

This shows that many, many people through the UK are completely underprepared for an event in which they lose the ability to make decisions for themselves. Without an LPA, a family would have to go through a lengthy and costly court procedure to get control of their loved ones financial or welfare affairs.

Addressing taboo issues on our TV screens

These survey results come at a time when such issues of planning for the future and developing incapacitating diseases are being tackled on our television screens. There is currently a storyline on Emmerdale where the village vicar, Ashley Thomas, has been diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia.

The soap wants to address the issue on a national level. There are around 850,000 people suffering from dementia in the UK, many of whom face a huge stigma and misunderstanding on a regular basis. Of these, approximately 150,000 suffer from vascular dementia, which is the second most common type caused by blood flow problems to the brain after a stroke or due to a history of vascular disease. Being such a popular soap, Emmerdale really can help address issues around this subject area. There aren’t taking matters lightly either. They have recruited the Alzheimer’s Society advise them on the scripts to help portray a realistic representation of symptoms and diagnosis as Ashley’s disease progresses.

How you can plan for your future

Making an LPA is just one way to ensure that everything is made easier after a dementia diagnosis. It also comes at a fraction of the cost of trying to sort affairs out after a diagnosis has been made, but still gives your family the power to make the situation better and reduce the stress for everyone involved.

Appointing an attorney is a simple process, which can be made even smoother by dealing with the right people who can help you to appoint the people you trust most to look after all of your affairs. You do not want this document being drafted in the wrong hands. At Gorvins we have a trusted, experienced and specialist team and we are one of the only firms in the North West to have all our staff members trained as Dementia Friends. We are very proud to specialise in Mental Capacity and it is our aim to make people aware of how to plan their lives if they are living with Dementia.