Data suggests that approximately 85 per cent of UK adults do not have a lasting power of attorney (LPA), despite the unpredictability of long-term illnesses and life-changing accidents.

A lasting power of attorney is a vital yet simple document which gives relatives or carers authority to handle the financial affairs of a loved one who is no longer able to look after themselves, or has lost the ‘mental capacity’ to do so.

For many, such a situation is unfathomable – and perhaps the last thing on their to-do list in terms of future planning for themselves, or for their relatives.

But according to the Alzheimer’s Society, the rate at which adults in the UK develop dementia is equivalent to one person every three minutes, and the number of people with dementia is likely to reach a worrying one million within the next decade.

Worse still, it is predicted that as many as hundreds of thousands of people have a very real chance of encountering an illness or accident within the next 12 months – which, in the worst instances, could leave them reliant on relatives or carers to take charge of their financial affairs.

A lasting power of attorney is quick and easy to set up by seeking specialist legal advice, yet a worrying 44 million UK adults do not have one, and are unprepared for what the future may hold.