Most of us would want to be cared for by people we trust at times of vulnerability in our lives. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to authorise someone to make decisions your behalf and can provide great peace of mind by ensuring that you have help when needed.

So how do LPAs work in practice and what types of LPA can you choose?

• Health and Welfare LPAs concern decisions relating to your medical matters, living arrangements, day-to-day care and wider social well-being.

• Property and Financial LPAs give your attorney authority to act in property dealings, bank account withdrawals or transfers, completing income and tax returns, claiming benefits and pensions, as well as on wider financial matters. Managing financial affairs can be a complex business, and this LPA is used to protect your financial interests.

With both types of LPA, any decision made by an attorney must be made in the best interests of the donor.

If any concerns are raised about an attorney's actions, the Court of Protection can intervene and remove the attorney from post if necessary.

In practice, any such concerns should be alleviated by your choice of attorney. This should be someone you know and trust, such as a close relative or friend. With the right arrangements in place, LPAs can provide great peace of mind by ensuring that the donor has help when needed.

If no attorneys are appointed and a person loses capacity, the alternative process of applying to Court to have a Deputy appointed is a much more expensive and restrictive.

• Megan Seabourne is a partner at Watford-based law firm VWV