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Surge in number of people taking out Lasting Powers of Attorney

There’s been a 20% rise in the number of people taking out Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) over the last year, according to official figures.

LPAs allow you to appoint someone to look after your affairs if you reach a point in the future when you can no longer make decisions on your own behalf. This could be as a result of failing health, or it could simply be that you are out of the country or too busy to deal with some of your important affairs.

There are two different types of LPA. One allows you to appoint someone to look after your money or business affairs; the other enables your appointed person to make decisions about your personal welfare.

Figures released by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) show that the number of people taking out LPAs rose from 152,335 in 2010/11 to 182,567 in 2011/12.

The increase is thought to be due to people’s concerns about their future as they get older in an increasingly aging population, and the fact that LPAs are now easier to register and offer more scope than powers of attorney did in the past.

LPAs should be drawn up with the help of a solicitor to ensure that they properly reflect your wishes and that your interests are fully protected. They then have to be registered with the OPG, which administers the system.

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