Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are powerful legal documents which allow individuals (Donors) to appoint people of their own choice (Attorneys) to look after their affairs should they no longer wish to or be able to manage their affairs themselves. You care enough about your loved ones to make a Will, which makes it easier when you've gone, but you still need to make plans for the unexpected whilst you are still alive. LPAs will ease the burden on your relatives should you lose mental capacity and be unable to make decisions for yourself in the future.
There are two Lasting Powers of Attorney:
Property & Financial Affairs - This allows the Attorney to pay bills, deal with banks and investments, arrange and collect benefits or even sell property, on behalf of the Donor.
Health and Welfare - This allows the Attorney to make decisions for the Donor such as care issues, where the donor lives and when authorised by the donor, give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment.
With no LPA in place bank accounts and investments are frozen, bills may not be paid and partners will not be able to sell property. Your wishes will be irrelevant as a Doctor or the Local Authority will make decisions on your behalf.
The only way your financial affairs can be managed would be by an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order which is both expensive and time consuming.