Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, flags that many people do not set up power of attorney because they have knowledge gaps and that calls for more awareness and educational campaigns.
“The surge in power of attorney applications in the last decade is an accomplishment and the fact that increase is continuing is encouraging. However, there is a noticeable slowdown in momentum and one that the nation can ill afford.
“Qualitative research by Big Window for Quilter revealed that while many people are aware of the term power of attorney there are gaps in their understanding including: people think the process of setting up a PoA is complicated and costly; there is a misconception generally that once a PoA is in place the donor loses control of their affairs, even if they have mental capacity; and generally current levels of knowledge are low, some people are honest about this and others believe they are knowledgeable but have incorrect understanding.
“Campaigns and education around power of attorney need to continue. Figures from the courts reveal there are still thousands of people who have to apply for deprivation of liberty, which is a more cumbersome and costly process.
“Discussing power of attorney is no easy feat as it is essential a conversation about when you or a loved one will no longer be able to manage personal affairs. However, with the rise in dementia it’s crucial to talk about who can make decisions on your behalf so if it does happen people loved ones are not left to navigate court systems during what will be an already challenging time.”