What Happens without a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
It is a common misconception that a Health and Welfare LPA is only needed for those that are of an older age. The reality is that mental capacity could be lost at any time due to a serious accident, stroke or even a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s.
If you should lose capacity and there is no Health and Welfare LPA in place, your family and friends will not have automatic authority to make decisions on your behalf with regards to your health and welfare. Instead, others could make decisions for you, and the decisions made may not be what you would have wanted, i.e. social services decide where you live and what care you receive, or you may be resuscitated against your wishes. This can cause disagreements between family members and professionals about what is best for you. Having an LPA in place prevents those disagreements whilst ensuring loved ones, who are best placed to look after you if you lose capacity, are legally able to do so.
What decisions can be made by your attorneys on your behalf with a Health and Welfare LPA?
Having this LPA in place will give your attorneys the authority to make the following decisions on your behalf:
Day to day decisions such as exercise, dietary requirements, and care; and
Arrange medical or dental care; and
Make decisions upon life-sustaining treatment; and
Where you live i.e. relocation into a care home or sheltered accommodation.
The LPA will allow you to set out any preferences for which you would like your attorneys to be aware. Preferences are non-binding wishes that you would like the attorneys to keep in mind when making decisions upon your behalf. We have set out some examples below:
“I would like my pets to live with me for as long as possible, and if I enter residential care, I’d like to take them with me.”; and
“I would prefer to live within 5 miles of my sister NAME.”; and
“I would like to have regular haircuts and manicures.”.
You can also set out instructions in the LPA which are legally binding and your attorneys must follow. We have set out some examples below:
“I authorize my attorneys to access my medical records held with my GP and hospital and any other health care provider that I may use, and the cost of obtaining such records can be paid for from my accounts”; and
“My attorneys must ensure I am only given vegetarian food.”; and
“I would prefer to receive any ongoing health or social care in my own home until such time as this is no longer practically or medically possible”.
For further information WITHOUT fear of consultation fees or obligation, please visit our Lasting Power of Attorney page.