By: 11 November 2015
86% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber leaving life-changing decisions in the hands of strangers, says solicitor group

86% of people in the Yorkshire and the Humber currently live with no control over important later-life decisions around their housing, assets, heath, and care, according to a new report by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

The report has also revealed that whilst 39% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber have a will in place to manage their affairs after death, only 7% have a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place to safeguard their wishes in the event they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

Worryingly, says the SFE, even the minority of people that have taken steps to plan ahead for later life may still be at risk, due to poor quality legal advice and invalid documents. 38% of the people with LPAs in place have not used experts or legal guidance, opting instead for online resources, non-legal advisers, or off-the-shelf kits.

James Shingleton, a solicitor at Morrish Solicitors in Leeds and a member of SFE, said: “I specialise in advising people on LPA’s, Wills and Probate matters. When I became a solicitor, I immediately became a member of SFE, with a commitment to spend 100% of my time on advising elderly and vulnerable people.

“The statistics do not surprise me. We are always here to help people who wish to discuss LPA’s, Wills and many other issues which people find it hard to talk about. Planning for the future is very important. There is no time like the present. By not taking matters into their own hands, individuals and families are at risk of seeing an outcome that they would never have anticipated.”