What is probably the best insurance policy to ensure that your last wishes are actually met?

So you have planned ahead, you have asked your parents about their final wishes, you have details of what they would like to do on the day, you know the type of funeral they want and they have promised to update their Will and put it in a safe place.

But what happens if sadly they lose the ability to make such decisions in the future? Perhaps they are diagnosed with dementia and in these circumstances decisions could be taken out of their hands and passed to The Court Of Protection to decide on their behalf.

Power of Attorney allows somebody to make these decisions for your relatives if they are no longer able to do so or no longer want want to make such decisions themselves.

However, Power of Attorney cannot be put in place after someone has developed dementia. They must be aware of what they are doing so it is never too early to plan ahead.

Many people only think about putting Power of Attorney in place at the first sign of infirmity as relatives get older. However increasing numbers of younger people are now putting arrangements in place before the crisis arrives – not only for their parents but also for themselves.

There are several different types of Power of Attorney.

Ordinary Power of Attorney allows somebody to deal with your financial issues on your behalf if you still have mental capacity over a specific period. This may be perfect if you were in hospital for a short time.

Lasting Power of Attorney. There are two types; one which covers health and welfare decisions if you lose your mental capacity, and another which covers all your property and financial affairs which can be used, with your permission, as soon as it is registered.

What does it cost?

You’ll need to register LPA before you can use it and the registration fee in England and Wales is £82 pounds for each LPA so £164 for both property and welfare. You can do the registration yourself or alternately instruct a solicitor to provide the whole service for you.

There is no need to use the Lasting Power of Attorney as soon as it is registered, or even at all. But it does give peace of mind and save a lot of time and stress if decisions ever needed to be made at short notice.

Once in place you can be assured that your final wishes will be put in place by the people you know and trust.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/make-decisions-for-someone