Lasting Powers of Attorney – Health & Welfare

This power can only be used after the Donor, the person granting the power has lost mental capacity. This is only mental capacity; they can be very physically frail, but still mentally capable, in which case if they retain the capacity to make their own decisions, and their attorneys cannot make them for them.

So what does it cover? Life sustaining treatment, but I’ll deal with that in another blog. It covers all medical and social care decisions. The medical ones are easy to spot, as they usually involve some kind of medical practitioner, such as GP. If you have a medical condition, then there might be treatment involved, there might be a choice of treatment; the choice might be no treatment.

Social care decisions are not always so obvious; the important one is where you live. This is where this LPA has enormous value. I’ve seen a conflict between where the healthcare professionals dealing with someone wants to place an individual and where the family want them to go and the choice is usually between going into care or staying at home. Where there is this difference of opinion, the healthcare professionals can apply to the Court of Protection for a residency order, but this is expensive and time consuming, so they have to have good reason for the application. If the Attorney is insistent that the Donor goes home, then the healthcare professionals have no choice but to comply with the wishes of the Attorney. It has the same authority as if the Donor had made the decision themselves.

Beyond where you live, the decisions are anything to do with care, what you eat, who visits you, what you wear, what activities you do etc.

This allows your loved ones to make decisions for you at a time when you cannot make them for yourself. The decisions are then made by someone who knows you well and hopefully you will have had a conversation about what you want with your Attorneys.

They are incredibly useful to have in place, they make infirmity easier to deal with for those around you and are definitely worthwhile creating.