Elderly lose trust in charities for end-of-life care

by Sarah Ashcroft

The importance of establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney has been highlighted by a new survey that shows public trust in charities to assist people as they get older falls with age.

The Cost of Dying survey shows a third (32 per cent) of people in their 40s trust charities to be a good source of help later in life, handling end-of-life issues such as long-term care, Third Sector reports.

However, that falls to just 16 per cent of people who are aged over 70, indicating that many may be turning to relatives for help later in life. One way relatives can provide meaningful assistance is through the creation of a Lasting Power of Attorney, as Saga explains.

"A Lasting Power of Attorney is crucial because it enables that individual to appoint somebody they trust and of their choice to manage their affairs, if for some reason they are no longer able to in the future," says Alex Edmans, product manager at the firm.

Elderly people can be particularly vulnerable if they have a sudden stroke or illness, as without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, the Court of Protection will appoint someone to manage their affairs.

The other reason why a Lasting Power of Attorney is very important is because to arrange one and register it with the Court of Protection costs £120, while solicitors fees can run to £300.

"If you did lose your mental capacity and then had to go through the Court of Protection, it is a much more onerous process, it takes much longer and it will be a lot more expensive than that," Ms Edmans adds.

People can fill in the power of attorney forms themselves, so there is no need to use a trained solicitor, she notes. Ms Edmans also suggests that appointing two people to act as attorneys provides an added layer of protection.

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Published on: November 14, 2011

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