Lasting Power Of Attorney For Health And Welfare
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is one of two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney which can be made in the UK, the other being a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs.
Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare allow you to nominate trusted individuals to act as your ‘attorneys’ and make decisions relating to your health and welfare on your behalf, should you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
Our solicitors have assisted a significant number of clients wishing to enter into a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare from our offices in Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Their advice is concise and straightforward, and they will never confuse you with legal jargon. Instead, they will ensure you fully understand the effects of your Lasting Power of Attorney and are entirely happy with your choices before preparing and registering the document on your behalf.
What Decisions Can An Attorney Make Under A Lasting Power Of Attorney For Health And Welfare?
Your attorneys can be given the power to make decisions relating to day-to-day matters such as washing, general hygiene and nutrition, through to those regarding life-saving treatment and resuscitation. You can hand over control to your attorneys entirely or provide guidance and details of any factors they must consider when making decisions.
Your attorneys will only be able to make decisions relating to life-saving interventions if you specifically provide for this in the document. If there is any uncertainty in this regard, your attorneys will not be deemed to possess the requisite power, and the decisions will be made by your medical team. It is, therefore, essential that your wishes are clearly stated, and our solicitors will work closely with you to ensure your Lasting Power of Attorney effectively and accurately records them.
There may be a period when you can still make basic decisions, such as those relating to hygiene, and your attorney must assist you in making those decisions as necessary. At the same time, you may be unable to make more complex decisions, such as those relating to complicated medical care, and your attorney will make those on your behalf, acting in your best interests.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare only comes into force when you are unable to make your own decisions.
Who Should You Appoint As Your Attorney?
Your attorneys must be over the age of 18 years, have mental capacity and not be subject to a bankruptcy order. Other than that, you can select anybody to act as your attorney, but it is important to choose people you trust. They will understand your lifestyle and wishes and have your best interests at heart.
When should you make a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare?
Contemplating a time when you cannot make decisions regarding your health and welfare can be overwhelming, and many of us only do so when faced with circumstances such as ageing or ill health. It is, however, sensible to consider making the appropriate Lasting Power of Attorney before then, even when you are young and in good health. Having the appropriate documentation in place provides reassurance that if you are unexpectedly and suddenly incapacitated, your wishes will be carried out by those you trust.
If your incapacitation is temporary, your attorney will only make decisions on your behalf whilst you are unable to make them yourself. Once you return to full capacity, you will take back control of your decision-making.
How Are Your Interests Protected When You Make A Lasting Power Of Attorney For Health And Welfare?
If you have chosen people you trust to act as your attorneys, they are highly likely to act in accordance with your wishes and have your best interests at heart. If there is any concern over their behaviour, the Court of Protection can intervene to remove them or cancel the Lasting Power of Attorney.
You can cancel a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare yourself at any time, provided you possess the requisite mental capacity.
How We Can Assist You When Making A Lasting Power Of Attorney For Health And Welfare
Our solicitors have extensive experience providing Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare guidance and support to clients. They will help you to understand your options when making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare and ensure that the document prepared accurately reflects your wishes. The document will be appropriately registered on your behalf, providing you with peace of mind that it is ready and waiting if there comes a time when it is needed.