What Is a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare?

Written by Fraser Stewart
Reading time 5 minutes
What Is a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare? image

There are two types of power of attorney:

When appointing your power of attorneys, most people choose two different people to ensure stress and decision making is spread. Your power of attorneys need to be able to work well together. This article will discuss the health and welfare power of attorney, what they do, and why you need to appoint one.

What Is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A lasting power of attorney or LPA is there to make important decisions if you are unable to. You can appoint one power of attorney for each type or appoint multiple powers of attorney for each type. If you decide to appoint multiple attorneys, you can specify whether they are to make each decision together or if they are able to make some decisions together and some individually as the circumstances require.

When Is a Health and Welfare LPA Helpful?

An LPA can make decisions about your health and welfare if you are unable to due to

If you work a dangerous job, have a history of mental illness or dementia, or are ageing, then you should consider designating a power of attorney. They will only be able to make decisions if you are ruled to be medically unable to make your own health and welfare decisions.

What Decisions Can a Health And Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney Make?

Your attorney can make decisions about:

When you set your LPA, you can provide them with the guidance of your wishes and how you would like to be cared for. You may even set up a trust at the same time to pay for your care.

You can choose whether your health and welfare LPA make the end of life decisions for you. Alternatively, they may be made by your medical team or laid out in an Advance Decision Living Will.

An LPA cannot make decisions that:

They also cannot exercise their power of attorney unless you are mentally incapacitated.

Who Should I Choose As My Power of Attorney?

First of all, choose somebody that you trust. This person will be responsible for your health and welfare when you are at your most vulnerable.

You should always have separate LPAs for your health and welfare and property and finances to avoid giving one person complete control over your life. You should also prepare a document where you share your wishes and overall feelings about things with your health and welfare LPA. This will help them understand what is important to you and how to make decisions in line with your interests.

Do I Need to Name My Spouse or Civil Partner As My Power of Attorney?

Yes. Your spouse or civil partner will not automatically be named as your LPA. They will not have the power to make decisions about your health care or lifestyle.

What If I Need to Change My Power of Attorney?

You can change your LPA at any time. If you no longer trust someone to make health and welfare decisions in your best interests, you need to change your LPA.

If you make a decision to cancel an LPA for any other reason, then you must contact the Office of the Public Guardian. They may need to perform a mental welfare check before they cancel a power of attorney. Generally, they will not make changes just because you change your mind, so you need to be sure of your LPAs before you appoint them.

What If I Believe My LPA Is Not Making Decisions In My Best Interests?

If you believe any of your power of attorneys are making bad decisions or harming you in any way, then you need to seek immediate help.

You should do the following things:

Your LPA is responsible for you when you are at your most vulnerable, so it is important that you trust their health and welfare plans and speak up if you suspect mistreatment.

How Can I Prevent Mistreatment From a Power of Attorney?

There are a number of safeguards you can put in place to protect yourself, even if you trust your power of attorneys complicitly.

How to Designate an LPA

The whole process goes through the Office of the Public Guardian. They have forms on their website for you to print and fill out. We recommend seeking assistance from a solicitor when filling out the forms. They can help you fill them out correctly and will ensure you are not signing them under duress. You will need someone to certify that you were of sound mind when you signed the forms.

When you file the forms with the Office of the Public Guardian, you will have to pay a fee per LPA of £82. Certain benefits will make you eligible for a discount.

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