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One thing the coronavirus pandemic as taught us all is that we simply don’t know what’s around the corner
While the vaccine roll-out is giving everyone hope that there will be a time when we can put these difficult days behind us, we are more aware than ever that accidents, illness, or disability can affect anyone at any time. 

Prioritise your plan B 

Keeping a positive frame of mind is one way to manage the challenges of recent months. You can also improve your peace of mind by putting a plan in place, in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself at any time. 
You will protect your own interests and help to reduce the stress and anxiety for your friends and family if you aren’t able to make your wishes known or make decisions for yourself. 
Setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) for your care and financial affairs means you will be able to choose who can make decisions on your behalf if you are ill or injured. More importantly, your loved ones will be able to access family bank accounts, pay bills, and make the choices you would want, until you recover. 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

An LPA is a legal document that you must create while you have the mental capacity to understand what you are asking people to do on your behalf. You can nominate a trusted friend or relative to look after your affairs if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself in the future. 
This doesn’t mean that you hand over control as soon as the document is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. When you create your LPAs, you can give details of the circumstances when they should be used, either before or only when you lose mental capacity. 

LPAs when you need them 

The people you choose as your attorneys will only act if you're unable to make specific decisions at any time. For example, if you were in a coma, your attorney would look after your affairs. When you wake from the coma, you can make your own decisions again. 

Types of LPA 

There are two types of LPA; one for finance and property, and another for health and welfare. 
The health and welfare LPA will allow a nominated person to make decisions about your day-to-day healthcare and medical treatment, and to make decisions in your best interests with health and social care staff. 
However, you might not want to choose the same person to make decisions about your financial affairs, so there’s a separate document for this. 
Even if you would like the same person to look after both aspects of your life, two documents will still be needed. 
We always advise people that it’s important to plan today, because tomorrow matters. If you would like to know more about LPAs, please get in touch. 
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