Business: Losing control of key decisions

Eighty six per cent of people in Yorkshire are currently living with no control over important later-life decisions including housing, assets, heath, and care.

This is according to a new report by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), a national organisation representing legal professionals such as Victoria Moss of Pinkney Grunwells Lawyers LLP specialising in helping people plan for later life.

The report showed 39 per cent of people have a will in place to manage their affairs after death, but only 7 per cent have a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place to safeguard their wishes if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves

Eighty five per cent want a family member or friend to make important decisions on their behalf, in the event of illness or an accident.

However, few are aware that without an LPA in place, any individuals’ affairs, such as their end-of-life wishes and health treatments, can be left in the hands of third party solicitors, social workers, medical doctors, or the British courts.

Lakshmi Turner, chief executive of SFE, said: “Most people assume that if they suffer an illness or accident, their next of kin will be responsible for vital decisions.

“The reality is starkly different – loved ones may not be able to make a decision on your behalf unless you have an LPA in place.”