You may encounter situations when planning and dealing with your financial affairs will be difficult if you are unable to make decisions due to loss of mental capacity. People of any age can lose their mental capacity -temporarily or permanently- because of an accident or illness for instance, and by making a Lasting Power of Attorney you ensure that the person you choose (your attorney) will be helping you if and when required. Having appointed an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney will also prevent potential family disputes as to whom should deal with your financial affairs and property and what decisions shall be made if you lack mental capacity.
Financial matters may involve paying your bills, making investment decisions, selling your property, etc.
It is important to note that an attorney appointed by a General Power of Attorney cannot continue to act if you lose mental capacity, while an attorney appointed in a Lasting Power of Attorney will cover that eventuality as well.
If you lose mental capacity and have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney for financial matters, your family or next of kin will not be able to deal with your financial affairs straight away. They will be required to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to deal with your affairs, which is a lengthier and more onerous process than making a Lasting Power of Attorney.