Living longer can mean a greater likelihood of encountering age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Younger people can also be affected by mental illness, brain injury or learning disabilities.
Sometimes these things can be anticipated in advance. In this case it can be a good idea to give someone - usually a relative or close friend - the power to make important decisions should be the need ever arise. This can be done through a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). A 'property and affairs' LPA covers things like using money to pay bills. A 'health and welfare' LPA is for decisions about where the incapacitated person should live and what kind of care they should receive.
Occasionally, circumstances do not allow for an LPA to be prepared in advance. In this case it may be possible to ask the Court of Protection to authorise someone to act on behalf of the incapacitated person in much the same way as if they had been appointed under an LPA. However, because it involves an application to the court, it is likely to be more expensive than using an LPA.
At Mayfield Bell we can guide you through the options and help you decide what what is best for you and those you care for.