Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare

Expert Lasting Power of Attorney health and welfare guide

A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a legal document that gives a trusted friend or relative the authority to make certain decisions about care on your behalf, should you ever lose the ability to do this yourself.

Having a health and welfare LPA in place can make matters much easier for your loved ones, should you ever need them to manage your affairs for you. Without an LPA, they would not necessarily be able to arrange care for you or make choices in respect of your medical treatment.

At Lockings Solicitors, we can advise you on how to make a health and welfare LPA and draft the document for you in accordance with your wishes. We are experienced in dealing with LPAs and we will ensure that you understand the implications of signing one and that we answer all of your questions to your satisfaction.

We have a high level of expertise in dealing with LPAs. 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 power of attorney, ring for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly.

Why make a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you put a health and welfare LPA in place, your attorney will be able to make decisions about your care on your behalf, should you ever lose the mental capacity to do so yourself.

This could be particularly beneficial if a number of welfare decisions needed to be made on your behalf. Without a health and welfare LPA, your loved ones might need to make an application to the court each time a decision has to be taken.

It can also be helpful to have a health and welfare LPA if there is any risk that your relatives might disagree over your care. By giving your attorney the power to decide, you can reduce the scope for disputes.

What authority can you give your attorney under a health and welfare LPA?

Your attorney under a health and welfare LPA can make a range of decisions if you authorise them to, including in respect of:

  • Where you will live, to include choosing a care home if necessary
  • What your daily routine will look like
  • Arranging personal care
  • Liaising with social services
  • What medical treatment you will receive
  • What treatment will be refused on your behalf, for example, cardiac resuscitation and medication

A health and welfare LPA is not necessary for routine medical treatment.

This type of LPA can only be used in the event that you lose mental capacity and it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian or OPG before it is used.

Health and welfare LPA or Advance Directive?

You have the option to make an Advance Directive, also referred to as an Advance Medical Decision or living Will if you wish. This can set out your instructions about what medical treatment you want to receive or refuse, including life-sustaining treatment. If you make an Advance Directive, it is important to make sure that it does not give different instructions to those included in your LPA.

Whichever document you signed most recently will take priority.

Mental capacity for making a health and welfare LPA

If you wish to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you need the mental capacity to understand the implications of this. You need to have been given the relevant information and be able to understand and retain this information. You also need the mental ability to consider the information and decide how you wish to act.

If someone is suffering from the earlier stages of a condition that causes mental impairment, such as dementia, they may still be able to execute an LPA, provided they have the necessary level of understanding.

When someone signs an LPA, a certificate provider will also need to sign to confirm that the individual understands the significance of the LPA and that there has been no pressure to sign. A certificate provider could be someone who has known the individual well for at least two years or a professional with relevant skills such as a doctor or a solicitor with LPA experience.

How to complete a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney form

The health and welfare LPA form is around 24 pages long and you may want help completing this. One of our LPA experts can take your instructions and complete the form on your behalf if necessary. We will ensure that you fully understand each section and that the document accurately reflects your wishes.

A professionally completed LPA stands the best chance of being accepted when the application to register it is made.

You can choose to have more than one attorney if you want, in which case you need to decide whether they can act independently or whether you want them to make all decisions together. You can also appoint replacement attorneys in case your original choice is unable or unwilling to act.

You will need to choose whether to give your attorney the authority to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment. If you do, your attorneys can have the same input in speaking to doctors that you would have had.

There is the option to include the names of people whom you would like to be notified if the LPA is used. This is a safeguard as they will be able to object to the LPA on certain grounds.

You can list preferences and instructions for your attorney. They can take into account any preferences if they feel this is appropriate, but they are bound to follow your instructions.

Your certificate provider’s details will need to be added to the form and they will need to sign the LPA to confirm that they are happy that you understand the implications and are signing of your own free will.

Registering a health and welfare LPA

It is advisable to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian to register an LPA as soon as it has been made. The LPA cannot be used until it has been registered, and registration can take several months. Registering it before it is needed also means that there is time to deal with any queries raised by OPG.

We can deal with the registration of your LPA on your behalf and then it can be kept for the future in case it is ever needed.

Lasting Power of Attorney health and welfare guidance for attorneys

If you have been appointed as an attorney for someone under a health and welfare LPA, you need to advise their relatives, friends and the people listed in the LPA to be notified when you start using the LPA and making decisions for the donor.

You also need to advise anyone involved in the person’s care such as their medical team, care workers and social workers. We can provide you with a certified copy of the LPA that you can give to people by way of evidence that you have the authority to act.

It is also open to you to ask the person in charge of the donor’s money if you need to spend money on items of care, such as clothes, hairdressing, items for their room in a care home or money for a trip out or to see friends or relatives.

Contact our Lasting Power of Attorney health and welfare solicitors East Yorkshire

If you would like to discuss making a health and welfare LPA, we will be happy to help and to answer any questions you may have.

You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk 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 the York area.

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