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Simplified system will safegaurd dementia sufferers.

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Simplified system will safegaurd dementia sufferers. One in three people over 65 will die with dementia and many are leaving it too late to appoint someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf. Latest statistics show that around two million people in England and Wales lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and 15,000 people under the age of 65 have dementia. But this month sees the introduction of a simplified way to appoint someone to look after things, if you become incapable doing so yourself. Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were first introduced two years ago and they allow individuals to appoint someone to act as their attorney, to deal with their personal welfare or their financial affairs. The LPA replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) and offered two advantages. Firstly they settled any worry about someone being pressured into the agreement, as an independent person has to certify in the LPA that the donor understands what they are doing and has not been the victim of undue influence. Secondly, under the old-style EPA an attorney was only authorised to deal with the donor's finances, but LPAs can be used to cover personal welfare as well. For health and welfare LPAs, this can include the attorney making decisions on areas such as medical treatment and where the donor lives. The attorney can even be given authority to refuse life sustaining treatment. Although the launch of LPAs was welcomed two years ago, they have been criticised for their length and lack of user-friendliness. But this week, the Office of the Public Guardian has launched a shorter and simpler form, which can be filled in on-line and printed off. Said Danny Carter, Partner of Chelmsford based solicitors Gepp & Sons: "Given the statistics, it is important that we all plan ahead while we can. Even those who have done an EPA should take advantage of the fact that LPAs give them the opportunity to appoint someone to look after their personal welfare". "And for those already suffering from the onset of dementia, it's important to find a lawyer who understands your situation," he added. Gepp & Sons provides advice on legal and financial matters for people suffering from dementia through the Alzheimer's Society as a member of LawNet - a network of independent, quality assured law firms throughout the UK and Ireland. If you would like to talk to one of specialists to discuss the above in greater detail, simply call 01245 228117 and ask to speak to one of our experts. - ends - Notes to editors: • For additional information or comment please contact: Danny Carter of Gepp & Sons.