According to research by the Office of National Statistics, deaths in the UK in the last decade have risen dramatically. This is, apparently, due to a rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s related deaths, as well as flu becoming more and more virulent. This is especially true of the flu virus A(H3N2), which kills a number of older people in the UK every year. The flu vaccine is less effective every year, and with outbreaks in care homes it becomes worse all the time.
In 2015, there were 529,613 registered deaths in England and Wales, which is a 5.6% increase from 2014. Of those deaths, 86 percent occurred in people over 75.
Life expectancy is currently at 79.3 years for men and 82.9 years for women. This has fallen by 0.2 years for women and 0.3 years for men.
Most of these deaths happened in the first few months of the year, due to the weather and the fact this this is the time that the flu virus attacks most strongly. Hospital admissions are up at this time, putting a strain of the NHS’s infrastructure.
Deaths with Alzheimer’s as the underlying cause are at a 5 year high.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important to write a will, and keep it as up to date as possible. With the death rate for those over 85 rising steadily, and with Alzheimer’s cases growing in number, having a will is an essential part of anyone’s life.
Who could fail but be saddened by reports that Jimmy Hill is suffering from dementia, having given joint powers of attorney to his wife and a solicitor.
Jimmy had the document drawn up in 2005, when he was still in good health. However, within only three years, the illness had become apparent and had affected him so badly that he was deemed incapable of looking after himself.
Jimmy is now in a nursing home and naturally, his children are concerned and frustrated that they have no say over their father’s care or what should happen to his assets. They only discovered that he had had the document prepared, in 2008, when the illness had taken a firm hold.
The two children who are raising awareness of the problems powers of attorney can bring for children of parents who have married multiple times, are Jimmy’s son and daughter from his second marriage.
Unfortunately, relations between Jimmy’s third wife Bryony and the two children – Joanna and Jamie – are now very strained as she will not consider amending the powers of attorney. This means that as things stand, Hill’s children will continue to have no say in his affairs, with the law stating that there is no legal requirement for them to be involved.
A shock decision was taken by a judge recently regarding a woman who changed her will whilst suffering from dementia. Despite not having a solicitor present nor a medical examination, the deceased was later declared mentally fit enough for the will to be declared valid. Previously, the woman’s will had seen the majority of her estate left to her eldest son, who not only ran the family company, but who took his mother in and cared for her, for the last decade of her life. It was at her birthday party in 2005 – a party at which her eldest son wasn’t present; that the woman changed her will, despite suffering from mild to moderate dementia. This change saw all her three remaining children benefiting equally from her estate. Accusations of forgery and coercion were hurled both ways during this recent trial, even after three years of legal battles. However, in the end, the judge ruled that the elderly should be able to document their wishes in a will, even with an impaired mental capacity. This latest will therefore, was declared valid.
If you have a family member suffering from dementia or perhaps they have been diagnosed with an early onset of Alzheimers it is vital to act fast with regards to Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). We can provide the LPA for a fixed cost. Remember these things are always more expensive and troublesome if left.