Choosing who makes decisions about your personal welfare if you are no longer able to?
Whilst undoubted a sensitive subject, the need to have control over decisions made about your future health care, including end of life care and treatment is extremely important to many people. One way to plan for your future is to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) specifically for Personal Welfare. (This document is separate to an LPA for your financial affairs).
The LPA for Health and Welfare enables an individual to appoint a person (known as an attorney) to speak on their behalf if they no longer have mental capacity. This can arise at any age, for a variety of reasons including a stroke, mental illness, brain injury and dementia. The attorney will then make decisions for the individual, regarding dental treatment, immunisation, diet and nutrition, day-to-day care, medication, surgery, treatment, choosing where they live and so on. The LPA for Health and Welfare also includes a specific section regarding life-sustaining treatment and whether or not the attorney is permitted to make such decisions.
Chartered Legal Executive
The benefit of choosing an attorney includes the comfort of knowing you have specifically chosen someone you trust to speak on your behalf rather than leaving these decisions to strangers. Also as the Alzheimer’s Society explains; by making an LPA in preparation for later in life will make things easier for your family and friends in the future. This is because it’s more expensive, difficult and time-consuming for them to get the authority to act on your behalf when you are not able to give it.
An LPA is a powerful legal document, it is a good idea to ask a qualified lawyer specialising in this area of work to guide and advise you through the process.
For further information on Personal Welfare LPA’s please contact the Wills & Probate team.