20 February 2018

Lasting powers of attorney: health and care decisions

More and more people understand the benefits of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) to deal with financial decisions but fewer recognise the advantages of making a health and and care decisions LPA.

 

Both types of LPA enable someone of your choice to act with the legal authority to act on your behalf to make decisions for you. However, a health and care decisions LPA can only ever be used in the event that you have lost the mental capacity to make such decisions, unlike a financial decisions LPA which can be used as soon as it is registered.

 

The health and care decisions LPA covers decisions about medical treatment, care or where you should live and gives you the opportunity to appoint someone you trust to make such decisions in light of your wishes. The decisions can extend to what you wear, who can visit you, whether you receive care at home or in a residential home, what you eat and consenting to or refusing life sustaining treatment.

 

Having a health and care decisions LPA is the only way someone can give their chosen representative legal authority to speak on their behalf with respect to their care and health; for example to social services, medical professionals and mental health tribunals.

 

If someone is not appointed to make these decisions on your behalf, medical treatment decisions will fall to the medical professionals, decisions about where you live and your care could fall on social services, decisions could be made without knowledge of your wishes and the Court of Protection may need to appoint someone to make your decisions (which is time consuming and expensive).

 

If you want further information about making a LPA, please contact us for a free thirty minute consultation.