By Alison Playle

We all dread the thought of ill health robbing us of the ability to make important decisions about our lives.

We would like to explain how to take control of your future by doing a Lasting Power of Attorney.

The number of people suffering from dementia is now increasing and will continue to do so. It is impossible to predict the future but you can act now to protect your interests in case your mental or physical capacity becomes impaired.

Lasting Powers of Attorney enable you to nominate someone, such as a family member or trusted associate, to make decisions on your behalf.

The Property and Financial Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs.

The Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney lets you grant an attorney authority over such matters as healthcare and the kind of medical treatment you receive (but will only come into effect when you no longer have the mental capacity yourself to make such decisions).

Lasting Powers of Attorney can prevent your family suffering the trauma of having to go to the Court of Protection for permission to take decisions for you in order to look after you properly.

In order to use a Lasting Power of Attorney it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The good news is that the registration fee has recently been reduced and it now costs £82 to register the Lasting Power of Attorney.

Since this is such an important decision, we would recommend that you obtain proper professional assistance from a solicitor to draw up your Lasting Power(s) of Attorney so you can ensure that they accurately express your wishes.

Should you require any further information please contact Alison Playle, solicitor, of our Wills, Probate and Elderly Client Department on 0115 8789000.

23rd March, 2018