The Consequences of Not Having Health & Welfare Power of Attorney in Place

Posted by

The Society of Will Writers has recently published an article explaining the consequences of not having a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. 

The article explains what decisions can be made by your attorneys on your behalf (you being the donor) with a Health and Welfare LPA and what authority they can make on your behalf. These include:

  • Day to day decisions such as exercise, dietary requirements and care
  • Arrange medical or dental care
  • Make decisions on life-sustaining treatment
  • Where the donor lives i.e. relocation into a care home or sheltered accommodation.

See full article here.

Your Preferences and Instructions

In addition, this type of LPA will also allow you to set out any preferences you would like your attorneys to be aware of. Preferences are non-binding wishes that you would like the attorneys to keep in mind when making decisions on your behalf such as:

  • What you would like to happen to your pets if you move to a care home and can they stay with you
  • The location of your care home
  • Personal care instructions e.g. haircuts and pedicures.

You can also include legally binding instructions in your LPA and your attorneys must follow these. Some examples include:

  • Dietary requirements such as having vegetarian food only
  • The decision to move you to a care home must be when your doctors says you can no longer live independently.

When Does an LPA Come into Effect?

A Health and Welfare LPA will only come into effect once the donor loses mental capacity. It has to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian whilst the donor still has full mental capacity so that their wishes are fully respected. 

Registering your LPA with the Office of Public Guardian can take up to 16 weeks or possibly longer, depending on the volume of applications they receive, so it is important you register an LPA as soon as possible.

Consequences of Not Having this LPA in Place

Many people believe a Health and Welfare LPA is only for older people. This is not the case. People can lose mental capacity at any time due to circumstances such as a serious accident or a stroke for example. 

If you do lose capacity and you don’t have a Health and Welfare LPA in place, you need to understand that your family or friends will not automatically have the authority to make decisions on your behalf, and these may not be in line with your specific wishes. In these circumstances, friends or family members can apply to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy for you and make decisions on your behalf; but this is a long and expensive process. Having an LPA in place will ensure your preferences and instructions are met in line with how you want to live your life should you lose the capacity to manage yourself. 

Book An LPA Appointment Today

If you don’t have a Health and Welfare LPA in place, then book an appointment with a member of our team today. We will guide you through the process and ensure the LPA clearly represents your specific wishes. We can also advise on financial and business LPA’s too.  Call us today on:

01792 420844.