'Mental capacity' means being able to make your own decisions.
Someone lacking capacity -- because of an illness or disability such as a mental health problem, dementia or a learning disability -- cannot do one or more of the following four things:
1. Understand information given to them about a particular decision
2. Retain that information long enough to be able to make the decision
3. Weigh up the information available to make the decision
4. Communicate their decision
Should you lose mental capacity, a LPA:
If you become unable to make decisions for yourself and you do not have a LPA, the court has the legal power to make decisions about your life. Although your family could win the right to act on your behalf, they would have to go through a long and expensive legal process, as explained by Dominic Littlewood in this hard-hitting coverage on The One Show.
Did you know?
If you lose the ability to make your own decisions and do not have an LPA, the courts will decide your fate, not your family, the legal courts.