A new organisation AWWOC (Ageing Well Without Children) has been launched to provide advice and guidance to those who are concerned about growing older without children. Their aim is to provide information and support which people can turn to for help with the tasks that become increasingly difficult as we age. Whilst having children is certainly no guarantee that they will be able to (or in some cases want to) provide assistance to us, most of us would assume that as we grow older our children will be there to support us.
It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 2 million over 65’s in Britain who will have no adult children to rely on, this figure has doubled since 2012. In the 1940’s approximately 10% of women had no children. Now 20% of women in their fifties do not have children and a quarter of women in their forties have none. Men without children is harder to measure but the figures are thought to be slightly higher.
What Help is Available for Ageing Well Without Children?
Many of our clients find themselves in the situation of growing older without children and are often concerned about who they can trust to make decisions for them, should they no longer be able to make decisions for themselves.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which can appoint someone to act as an Attorney and effectively manage your property and financial affairs or your health and welfare matters on your behalf. However, we often find that many clients are worried about giving this level of responsibility to a non-family member.
A Professional Attorney can help by taking on this level of responsibility. Examples of professionals who can act as an Attorney are Solicitors, Accountants, Independent Financial Advisers, Charity employees or Will-writers. The most common choice is for a Solicitor to be appointed as they are from a highly regulated industry so ensure compliance with high professional standards, rules and ethics. Who you choose to act is ultimately up to you but it’s important that you’re confident in their ability and knowledge. Looking for a Solicitor who is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) can be a great place to start.
Examples of How a Professional Attorney can Help:
Keeping your independence – Mr P is an extremely independent person and has made it very clear that he does not want to go into a care home, even though it would be a much safer environment for him as he keeps falling at home. Mr P’s social worker disagrees with Mr P and doubts whether he has the mental capacity to be able to decide where he should live.
A Professional Attorney could undertake regular capacity assessments to demonstrate that Mr P can make the decision to stay in his own home and could also instruct an independent advocate to support Mr P in communicating with his social worker. This ensures that decisions cannot be made against his will.
Mr P may be safer in a care home but he has the mental capacity to make his own decisions as to where he should live and with a Professional Attorney’s support this is accepted by his social worker.
Managing bank accounts and paying bills – Mr V lives in his own home with the assistance of a carer who visits twice a day. Mr V lives a simple life but no longer wishes to have the responsibilities of managing his own money and bills. A Professional Attorney can take over the management of Mr V’s bank accounts and arrange to pay all of his regular bills including his care costs.
A Professional Attorney can also renew Mr V’s insurance policies on an annual basis and have an annual review with his Independent Financial Advisor to ensure that his investments are performing well.
Regular visits to Mr V could also be introduced to check that he is happy with arrangements and Mr V would always be able to telephone or drop into the offices of this Attorney if he had any concerns or requirements.
SAS Daniels’ Professional Attorney Service:
You can also download our guide to Acting as Your Professional Attorney to find out more about how we can act as your Professional Attorney and the likely costs involved.