The London Telegraph recently reported that there has been a “huge rise in the number of lasting powers of attorney” filed with the government. The Telegraph said more than 441,000 powers of attorney were established in 2015, nearly 12 times as many as were filed in 2008, when the British government amended the laws governing powers of attorney in England and Wales.
The Telegraph noted the correlation between the increased filings of powers of attorney and new figures from the UK’s National Health Service indicating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease had become the leading cause of death in England and Wales, overtaking heart disease. The powers of attorney figures cited above were obtained by a pension company that told the Telegraph many British citizens were still at risk for losing control over their finances due to a lack of a legally executed power of attorney.
In the United States, Alzheimer’s is currently considered the sixth leading cause of death. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million American citizens suffer from the disease. One out of every nine people over the age of 65 will develop Alzheimer’s, and 1 out of every three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia.