Why is a health and welfare LPA so important? Most people make no provision for their families to make life and death decisions on their behalf if they become mentally incapable. As a result, these decisions are often left entirely to doctors, social workers, the Local Authority or Care Home.
We only have Power of Attorney for my Nan’s finances. Not for her wellbeing
Mum of ex-Corrie star arrested after trying to remove 97-year-old gran from care home before lockdown. Leandra Ashton posted distressing footage of her retired nurse mum packed into the back of a police while her dementia-stricken grandmother sat in the front seat of the family car as the vehicle was surrounded by police.
(Article & Image: Manchester Evening News & Internet Unknown)
Drawing up a legal document called a Lasting Power of Attorney to authorise your chosen family members to make the final decisions about your health and welfare.
What is a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
A “lasting power of attorney” is a legal document in which you appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. The person so appointed is referred to as an “attorney”.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney, a “health and welfare lasting power of attorney” and a “property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney”. In the case of a health and welfare lasting power of attorney, the attorney is granted the power to make decisions about your health and welfare.
What sort of decisions can a health and welfare LPA make?
The sort of decisions an attorney can make will depend upon what powers they have been given in the health and welfare lasting power of attorney. An attorney may be given the power to make decisions in relation to any or all of the following matters:
- What medical treatment you should have or not have.
- Whether you should continue to live in your own home or move into a residential care home.
- What type of health care you should receive.
- What diet you should have.
- How you should be dressed; and
- What your daily routine should consist of.
Any decisions made by an attorney should be made in the best interests of the “donor” (the person who made the lasting power of attorney).
What sort of decisions can a health and welfare LPA not make?
A health and welfare lasting power of attorney does not give your attorney the power to make decisions relating to your property and financial affairs. If you would like your attorney or another person to take responsibility for your property and financial affairs a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney will be needed.
Can anyone make a personal welfare LPA?
A person must have the “mental capacity” to make a health and welfare lasting power of attorney for it to be valid. They must also be at least 18 years old.
For a person to have the required mental capacity they must be able to understand and remember information for long enough and be able to weigh up information to enable them to decide. They must also be able to communicate in some manner.
When can a health and welfare lasting power of attorney be used?
A health and welfare lasting power of attorney cannot be used until it has been registered with the “Office of the Public Guardian” and until you have lost the mental capacity to make your own decisions.
Contact us to find out how to quickly and easily put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney to legally appoint someone to look after your financial affairs, property, health and welfare and business should you lose capacity through illness or injury.