A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA allows you to appoint someone to make decisions over your care, should you ever be unable to manage this for yourself. This is the only way someone can legally deal with matters on your behalf and it can be very difficult for families if someone does not have an LPA in place. Our Lasting Power of Attorney health and welfare guidance below sets out how you can ensure that someone can take steps to help you, should this ever be needed.
At Lockings Solicitors, we have a high level of experience in dealing with Lasting Powers of Attorney. We can explain your options to you and ensure that the LPA you make protects your interests in the best possible way.
We have particular experience in dealing with health and welfare matters for older clients. Associate Director and Head of Private Client Joanne Liversidge is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a respected national network of solicitors with particular expertise in legal affairs that affect older clients. She is also a Dementia Friend with a good understanding of the disease and the difficulties it causes for sufferers and their families.
As well as conducting more complex matters personally, Joanne supervises a team of expert solicitors and paralegals who are all down-to-earth, approachable individuals who take the time to understand and achieve your needs.
If you would like to discuss making a health and welfare LPA, ring for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly.
A health and welfare LPA is a legal document by which you can appoint a trusted relative or friend to take care decisions on your behalf. It would only be used if you lost the mental capacity to make decisions yourself.
If you became unable to manage your own affairs, your health and welfare attorney would be able to decide on issues such as:
It is also possible to make a property and financial affairs LPA, which is a different document and which would deal with your assets and finances.
It is recommended that you have a health and welfare LPA in place in case you were ever to lose the ability to manage matters for yourself. Without this document giving someone legal authority to help you, your family would not be able to take decisions for you and they would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order. The process usually takes several months, meaning that no-one would be able to authorise actions on your behalf in the meantime.
You need mental capacity to understand the implications of signing a health and welfare LPA. This means that once someone starts to lose the ability to manage their own affairs, it could be too late to make an LPA. It may still be possible if they have good days where their understanding is clearer however.
You need to appoint someone you trust implicitly and whom you believe will be willing and able to represent you, should it ever be necessary. You may want to consider appointing someone younger than yourself to ensure there is the best chance of them being capable to help you at some point in the future.
They will be legally required to act in your best interests at all times. The role can be time-consuming, so you need to discuss the situation with your intended attorney to ensure that they understand what the role entails and that they are happy to take it on.
You are advised to ask a solicitor to prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney so that you can discuss with them what powers you want to give to your attorney.
You can choose to have certain people notified when your LPA is registered and these will need to be listed in the document.
Once the LPA is ready, you will sign it first as the donor. Your signature needs to be witnessed and the witness should also then sign as well.
A second person needs to sign to confirm that you understand the implications of signing, that you are not being pressured into signing and that there is no other reason why you should not make the LPA. This individual is known as the certificate provider. They should have known you for the previous two years or should be a professional who has the expertise to give the necessary confirmation. For example, they could be a doctor, a social worker, a solicitor or an independent mental capacity advocate.
Finally, your attorney will sign. If you have more than one or a replacement attorney they also need to sign. Their signatures should be witnessed.
You can have your LPA registered straightaway or wait until it is needed to register it. It is generally advisable to register it as soon as it has been made as the process takes several months. This also gives you the opportunity to reply to any enquiries the Court of Protection may have in respect of the registration.
If you were to wait until the LPA was needed, your attorney might have difficulty in dealing with matters for you as they wait for the registration to be completed.
Before you register the LPA, you need to send form LP3 to all of the ‘people to notify’ that you have named in your LPA.
The cost of registering a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is currently £82. If your income is less than £12,000, you can apply for a reduction. If you are in receipt of certain benefits, including Income Support, you may be exempt from paying the fee.
At Lockings Solicitors, we charge a fixed fee for drafting a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. If you would like to contact us, we can tell you how much our charges are, so that you know exactly what to expect. We will also be happy to answer any initial questions you may have about appointing an attorney and the use of an LPA.
If someone has dementia, they may eventually be unable to make their own decisions in respect of their care. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that a loved one will be able to make those decisions for them.
If a family member has been diagnosed with dementia, they may still be able to make an LPA. It is advisable to do this as soon as possible if they would like to appoint someone to help them.
They will need the mental capacity to understand the nature of the Lasting Power of Attorney and what it means to sign it. A medical expert can assess whether someone has the necessary capacity and certify that they are satisfied on this point.
If you have a relative with dementia who would like to appoint an attorney, we have the expertise to help. One of our directors is a Dementia Friend, with in-depth understanding of the difficult nature of dementia as well as a high level of legal experience in this complex area. She is sympathetic and approachable and has helped many clients ensure that they have the legal documentation they need for the future.
If you would like to discuss signing a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, we would be happy to help.
You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at email@example.com or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with Lasting Powers of Attorney in East Yorkshire and beyond.
If you are a customer of Lockings Solicitors and we have contracted with you online you may be entitled to use the EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform to assist in resolving any dispute with us. This service can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/odr.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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