The Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and its benefits
Who can make a Health and Welfare LPA?
You can make a LPA if you are over the age of eighteen and you are capable of understanding the document.
The benefits for you having a Health and Welfare LPA?
- You can nominate someone you trust to have the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf in the eventuality of you losing mental capacity.
- You are not relying on Social Workers, or strangers to make these very important decisions for you.
- You are in control of the person (known as the Attorney) making decisions on your behalf who will know what your likes, dislikes, feelings and opinions are and will give voice to those for you should you be in a vulnerable position.
- Therefore in the event of you losing mental capacity you may still be living in the way you would have chosen.
- Should you be placed in a care home by Social Services then your loved ones will only get a chance to object or to choose a more suitable care home for you if they are your Attorney. Otherwise they have no power to make such decisions for you. Social Services will be in control of your care.
- Appointing an Attorney would bring great peace of mind for you. This is an invaluable part of planning for the future, whether you are elderly or young.
What sort of decisions can the Attorney make on your behalf?
The individual you trust as your Attorney may:
- Give or refuse consent to certain types of health care/treatments. This includes medical treatment.
- Decide on your behalf where you should live, whether you stay at home or move to a residential home
- What you should eat/help you with your day-to-day routine
- Who you should have contact with
- The kind of social activities you should take part in.
Please note the Attorney can only act fully if the LPA is registered and you have lost capacity. If you have registered your LPA and you still have mental capacity then you continue to make decisions regarding your health and welfare until your mental capacity is lost.
Who can you appoint as your Attorney?
- Anyone you trust over the age of eighteen.
How many Attorneys can you appoint?
There is no limit on the number of people you appoint. You can appoint them to act for you jointly or individually.
Can you limit the powers of the Attorney?
Yes you may by imposing:
- Conditions and restrictions – for example you may state that you do not wish the Attorney to consent to treatments on religious grounds. If you impose any conditions or restrictions the Attorney must comply with this
- Guidance – this does not bind the Attorney, but may be useful for the Attorney when they make decisions on your behalf.