In this guide we discuss Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.
Lasting Power of Attorney is being discussed more and more by families who want to ensure that the future is more certain for themselves or their elderly relative.
Without one in place, you could find that your personal wishes are unable to be provided for should you lose mental capacity in the future.
Unfortunately, this important provision for old age is often overlooked until it’s too late to put one in place.
Here you’ll find information that should help you to determine whether a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is right for you. You’ll also learn how to put a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare in place.
We have answered the 8 most important questions you should be asking below.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way to plan ahead for mental incapacity. It involves appointing someone you trust (usually a family member or friend) to act for you when you cannot do so yourself.
You can choose one or more trusted friends or relatives to act as your attorneys. They will be responsible for making sure that your wishes are carried out. You can also choose which decisions they will be responsible for.
An LPA can only be used when you are mentally incapable of making your own decisions – so putting one in place now will not jeopardise your independence.
If you wait too long you may find that you are unable to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney – so it’s important to make provisions now for the future.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. One takes care of your assets and financial affairs – this is known as a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs. The other type of Lasting Power of Attorney is a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.
This type of LPA enables a nominated family member or friend to make decisions on your behalf regarding your day-to-day care and wellbeing. These include:
The responsibilities listed above will directly affect you. For this reason it is very important that the person you choose as your LPA for Health and Welfare is somebody you know and trust.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare does not cover your financial arrangements – but it’s important to remember that your Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare may need access to your finances so that they can arrange your care easily for you.
This is why many people set up both types of Lasting Power of Attorney simultaneously, appointing the same person to look after each.
Arguably everyone should make appropriate provisions for their future care as they approach old age. This ensures that your wishes are granted and you are looked after in the way you would like.
It can also save your family members the upset and frustration of not being able to get involved in your care.
Arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is particularly important for anyone who has been given a diagnosis of Dementia, or another degenerative illness that will cause them to lose mental capacity in the near future.
Although it’s a stressful time and these things are unpleasant to contemplate, putting a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare in place now is the only way you can be sure you’ll be looked after in accordance with your personal wishes.
You can set up a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare at any time in life – not just as you approach old age.
We always recommend that you use a specialist to produce a LPA. They will ensure that your interests are always protected and you have piece of mind that everything is in order.
There are two options for you to consider.
We have created a directory of advisors that specialise in helping people create a Lasting Power of Attorney. The directory has advisors listed from all over the country. You can access the LPA directory here.
If you do not feel confident in choosing an advisor, you can leave your details below, and we will find an advisor for you. We do not charge for this service and it is absolutely free.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is designed to give you some control when you are unable to make decisions yourself. Therefore failing to have a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place can have significant consequences for you and your family.
The absence of a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney means that your family members and loved ones won’t get a say in how you live or are cared for. Small examples of this include the clothes you wear, the food you eat, clubs you attend.
More significant examples include the type of medicine you take, the type of care you access and where you live.
Care provision is one of the main reasons people set up a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. They trust their family members or friends to choose the best home or provider for them – and don’t want that decision to be made by strangers or local authority staff.
If you need to get power of attorney but you have left it too late, the only option you have is to approach the Court of Protection. This process allows a court to give you responsibility over someone’s decision making. You can read more about the Court of Protection here.
Here is a short video that explains what the court of protection is.
Lasting Power of Attorney forms (Health and Welfare) can be obtained and filled out independently.
However it’s advisable to enlist professional help from a solicitor when completing Lasting Power of Attorney forms (Health and Welfare).
This is because filling out these forms incorrectly could mean your application does not stand and cannot be used at a later date when it is too late to make other arrangements.
If you are unsure, you can obtain the Lasting Power of Attorney forms (Health and Welfare) and take a look before seeking advice on specific elements as needed.
More Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare guidance can be obtained from your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Age UK. Some solicitors also offer free drop-ins. These can be especially useful as you can ask questions and obtain professional advice without personal cost.
If you’d like further Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare guidance you can find plenty more information here on the UK Care Guide website.
This content was first published by Susan Glenholme, the Managing Partner for Debenhams Ottoway.
As well as being managing partner and head of the private wealth team, Susan is recognised by Chambers and Partners UK legal directory, features in the legal 500, as one of the leading private client lawyers in the UK.
Susan can be contacted on 01727 735 636.