A Lasting Power of attorney (LPA) is a document where an individual (known as a Donor) can appoint a third party as their attorney to deal with their affairs.
There are two types of LPA:
Property & Financial Affairs – which are the most common and are used for an attorney to deal with the Donor’s financial matters and their property affairs.
Health & Welfare – these are made less frequently, however when a Donor makes a Health & Welfare LPA the attorney is able to deal with the Donor’s personal welfare and healthcare decisions.
Unlike an LPA for Property & Financial Affairs the attorney appointed under a Health & Welfare LPA can only make decisions when the Donor does NOT have capacity to make these decisions for themselves.
The Donor can grant their attorney the authority to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment, which is any treatment that a doctor considers necessary to keep an individual alive. This could be surgical, the provision of drugs, or artificial nutrition or hydration.
The attorney will also be able to make decisions as to which care/residential home the Donor is to reside in and to liaise with medical and healthcare professionals with all matters relating to the health and well-being of the Donor.
The Donor can control the attorney’s use of the LPA by providing restrictions and conditions which their attorney MUST abide by. This could be to express the Donor’s religious views when the attorney is to consider certain kinds of medical treatment, for example, blood transfusions or to stipulate that the attorney must seek medical advice before consenting to treatment or any other course of action.
The Donor can assist their attorney when making other kinds of decisions in the Donor’s best interests by providing guidance, examples of this can be the area the Donor wishes to live or the type of residential home the Donor would prefer to live in if required. This guidance given is NOT binding on the attorney.
It is important to remember that the Donor can only provide instructions for their attorneys to follow which is legal. An attorney can NEVER be forced to follow any decisions which may place them at risk from criminal prosecution, for example Euthanasia cannot be authorised by a Donor under a Health & Welfare LPA.
It is therefore advisable when considering making a Health & Welfare LPA that the Donor must consider their future healthcare requirements in detail. It is good practice to discuss these requirements with family and medical professionals prior to making a Health & Welfare LPA as well as the attorneys to be appointed.
How can we help?
Morrish Solicitors Elderly Client Department prepare LPA’s for both Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. We offer advice and guidance with regard to both types of LPA’s and the registration of the LPA’s with the Office of the Public Guardian as an LPA cannot be used until it has been registered.
The costs for this are often expensive due to the work required to be undertaken and we are currently offering a discount of “Buy one get one Half Price” for the preparation of both LPA’s for Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare.