None of us want to believe that we might lose our mental capacity or how we would cope with our financial affairs if we do.

By establishing Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) for Property & Financial affairs and our Health & Welfare it gives someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the mental capacity to do so.

It is important to set up an LPA while you are still mentally capable, well before you need it. If you become mentally incapacitated later in life and don't have LPAs in place, your relatives can face long, distressing delays and expense in applying to the court to take control. And don't assume that because you have set up an LPA, you have lost control. You can chose whether it can be used before, or only when, you lose mental capacity.

There are two types of LPA: 'Property and Financial Affairs' and 'Health and Welfare'.

1. Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows you to choose one or more persons to make decisions about your money or property on your behalf. This includes fulfilling important tasks such as paying bills, writing cheques, transferring money, receiving salaries, arranging for the upkeep of your property or even selling it, if necessary.

2. Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A Health and Welfare LPA allows you to appoint one or more persons to make decisions regarding your medical care, moving into a care home, your daily routine (for example, eating and what to wear) and refusing life-sustaining treatment. Unlike the Property and Financial Affairs LPA it can only be used once you have lost the ability to make your own decisions.

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