There may come a time when your relative or friend needs someone to make decisions on their behalf. Sometimes it’s temporary, because of illness or a hospital stay, but it may be long term if they have late-stage dementia or a serious accident, for example. Loss of mental capacity can happen unexpectedly, so it’s a good idea for everyone to have arrangements in place, such as a power of attorney or an advance decision.

Next steps

To find out more about power of attorney, contact the Office of the Public Guardian in England and Wales, or the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland.

You can create an advanced decision or advance statement with the help of the online tool

For more advice, see our guide Planning for the end of life.

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