Powers of attorney
There may be times when you need to grant powers of attorney to another person, which allows them to sign documents on your behalf.
There are two ways of doing this.
A general power of attorney is very useful if you are travelling for a fixed period, but it has its downsides for long-term use.
If for some reason you lose the mental capacity to deal with your affairs, a general power of attorney will no longer be valid. Your family or friends would then have to go through a long and often expensive court process to release your money and property for your own benefit or use.
You can save yourself money and spare your friends and family this burden with a little forward planning. A lasting power of attorney is valid for everyday matters, but it can also be used if you are no longer able to deal with your affairs for some reason.
If you wish this can be drafted to only come into power once a doctor has certified you are incapable of acting for yourself.