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None of us like to think of a time when we are unable to make our own decisions. 
 
But a little preplanning and considering the potential of a lasting power of attorney will not only help you keep yourself and your assets safe but also make it much easier for loved ones to provide the assistance you need when the time comes. 
 
What is Lasting Power of Attorney? 
 
Any power of attorney can be drawn up to hand over your affairs to another person. A lasting  power of attorney is sometimes used in financial and business matters. 
 
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that sets out the parameters of how your affairs are to be dealt with in the event you don’t have the mental capacity to manage them yourself. That could be because you are in an accident that incapacitates you or it may be related to age and the onset of a condition such as Alzheimer’s. 
 
The Types of Lasting Power of Attorney 
Financial and Property 
 
One of the major issues to be concerned about if you are suddenly incapacitated is who is going to be take over your financial affairs.  You may have dementia and need the support of a nursing home, for instance. 
 
An LPA for property and finance, gives your attorney (the person acting for you) the legal backing to handle your affairs in your best interest.  You can stipulate what is included in that permission and set parameters under which the LPA operates. 
 
Health and Personal Welfare 
 
The other type of lasting power of attorney is focused on your personal health. This gives the attorney permission to make decisions on your behalf such as the medication you get and what sort of care you need to receive on a daily basis, including help with dressing and meals.   They can also make decisions about life sustaining treatment and decisions about resuscitation.   The attorney is duty bound to take your wishes into consideration and act in your best interests, however it is imperative that the attorney is someone you trust completely. 
 
Choosing Your Attorney 
 
One of the biggest choices you will have to make is who you want to handle your affairs. This can be a partner or a relative such as son or daughter. It can even be a lifelong friend or associate. They must agree to be your attorney and you will need to fill in the appropriate paperwork. You can also choose more than one person, for example, if you want to spread the responsibility across two or more children to make it easier for them. 
 
This is not a document that is written in stone and if you decide to change who you want your attorney to be you can do. Once the forms are filled in, you need to register the LPA with Office of the Public Guardian which can take up to 10 weeks. 
 
When You Should Get a Lasting Power of Attorney? 
 
While you might think that age is a factor and LPAs are for older people, none of us really know what is going to happen in the future. You may be in an accident that incapacitates you in some way and means you can’t make decisions either about your health or your property.   This can cause enormous and unnecessary difficulties for your next of kin and family. 
 
An LPA is a common-sense way to make sure that everything is taken care of if you should be unable to manage your own affairs because of mental incapacity.  Contact the team at DSM Legal to find out how we can help you set up a lasting power of attorney today. 
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