New research from probate brokers Final Duties has shown that power of attorney applications increased by a third in 2023.
Appointing a power of attorney gives someone else the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of somebody when they no longer have legal capacity. It is commonly used in cases where a person develops dementia, or otherwise anticipates a loss of mental capability.
The analysis by Final Duties shows that the number of power of attorney applications surged by a third in 2023 to around 1.14 million – up from 852,000 in 2022 and passing the 1 million mark for the first time.
The past 10 years have seen a surge in the number of applications –there were just 274,000 in 2013. This increase has been attributed to an ageing UK population and a corresponding increase in the prevalence of dementia.
Final Duties MD Jack Gill said: “The baby boomer generation is ageing and the unfortunate consequence of this ageing population is an increase in prevalence of dementia within our society.
“This has naturally led to a spike in the number of applications being made for power of attorney, as those suffering from dementia appoint a trusted loved one to act on their behalf in anticipation of a time when they are no longer able to do so for themselves.”