Lasting Power of Attorney: Health and Welfare

A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ensures there will be a person you can trust to make important decisions, such as ongoing care and living arrangements, should you, or a member of your family, lack the mental capacity to do so. The professional and understanding team at JMW can provide all the advice and guidance you need when making an LPA that best suits your needs. We are highly experienced in this complex area of law, and will always point you in the right direction.

For friendly and helpful advice regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney, either call the wills and probate team on 0345 872 6666 or allow us to give you a call back by completing our online enquiry form.

What Is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document with which you can give to a person or persons of your choosing the authority to make decisions on your behalf. There are two forms of LPA; health and welfare and property and financial affairs.

A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney authorises your attorney(s) to make decisions concerning your health and your welfare. Effectively, this document covers you on a personal level rather than on a financial level.

This type of LPA does not mean you will be forced into a care home or to undergo medical treatment against your will. Your attorney(s) will only be given authority after you have been assessed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is also possible to limit the power of your attorney(s) in LPA documentation. 

The Decisions an Attorney Can Make

If you lack sufficient mental capacity to make such decisions yourself, your attorney(s) can:

  • Give or refuse consent to medical treatment (including life-sustaining treatment)
  • Discuss your medical records and requirements with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Make decisions concerning dental or optical treatment
  • Make decisions concerning where you live. This can include decisions as to whether you remain living in your own home, whether you receive care in your own home or whether you move into a care home that is appropriate for your needs
  • Make decisions concerning your day-to-day life, including decisions on your daily activities, your diet and your appearance

It is possible to place restrictions within the document to limit what your attorney(s) can do on your behalf; it is also possible to offer written guidance to your attorneys, should you wish to.

  1. Who Can Make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

    To make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you must be over the age of 18 and have sufficient mental capacity to make the document. It is not possible to make an LPA on another person's behalf. If you have any queries regarding the law and mental capacity you should speak with one of our power of attorney solicitors.

  2. Who Can I Appoint as My Attorney(s)?

    You should only appoint people who you know are trustworthy and who you know shall make all decisions in your best interests. It is possible to appoint your spouse and/or children should you wish to and you are able to appoint replacement attorneys.

  3. What Is Life-Sustaining Treatment?

    Under a Lasting Power of Attorney (health and welfare) you must decide whether or not you wish your attorney(s) to have the authority to make decisions relating to treatment that can sustain your life if you are unable to. Examples of life-sustaining treatment decisions include whether a life support machine is kept on or turned off, whether a potentially life-saving operation or organ transplant proceeds, or whether to proceed with treatment such as chemotherapy.

  4. When Can a Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare) Be Used by My Attorney(s)?

    This document can only be used by your attorneys at a time when you lack sufficient mental capacity to make such decisions yourself. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is clear that if you are able to make a decision concerning your health and welfare then you have the right to do so - you cannot be forced into a care home or forced to have medical treatment against your will.

  5. Can I Limit the Authority That I Give to My Attorney(s)?

    Yes, it is possible to place restrictions within the document to limit what your attorney(s) can do on your behalf. It is also possible to offer written guidance to your attorneys should you wish to.

  6. What Else Should I Consider Before Making a Lasting Power of Attorney?

    In accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 there are certain safeguards in place for your protection:

    • You must appoint a Certificate Provider. This person (who can be your solicitor, doctor or a person whom you have known for two or more years) must sign to confirm that you have sufficient mental capacity, that you understand, and that you are under no pressure to make the Lasting Power of Attorney
    • The Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used by your attorneys
    • You must select at least one person to receive notification of registration of the document with the Office of the Public Guardian

  7. Am I Able to Cancel the Lasting Power of Attorney Should I Wish To?

    A doctor or healthcare professional responsible for your care shall inevitably make a final decision in accordance with their professional duty of care. Typically, this person shall seek the views of your 'next of kin', but this is only to ascertain what is in your best interests. For all major decisions, an appropriate person will need to make an application to the Court of Protection for a Court Order authorising the decision sought. This is a very time consuming and costly procedure. The only way to give a general authority in this regard is by making a Lasting Power of Attorney (health and welfare).

    Alternatively, and in relation to medical treatment decisions only, you may wish to consider making an Advance Directive (commonly known as a 'Living Will'). There are advantages and disadvantages of such a document - for more information please speak with one of our solicitors.

Why Choose JMW?

Our expert wills and probate team has vast experience in helping people in all aspects relating to health and welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney. We will provide the guidance you need to make the entire process as simple and stress-free as possible, giving you the peace of mind that everything is being taken care of properly. 

Talk to Us

For more information, or simply to speak to a friendly, experienced solicitor about a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, call JMW free on 0345 872 6666 or complete an online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a time that is convenient for you.

Read more
Call us now on 0345 872 6666 for advice on Wills and Trusts
People
Wildcard SSL Certificates