Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal healthcare and welfare.

These health and welfare decisions can only be taken by somebody else when you lack the capacity to make them for yourself; for example if you are unconscious or because of the onset of a condition such as dementia.

The Attorney(s) you appoint to make personal welfare decisions will only be able to use this power once the LPA has been registered and provided that you cannot make the required decision for yourself.

You can decide to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about any or all of your health and welfare matters. This could involve some significant decisions, such as:

  • giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions; or
  • whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you.

If you want your Attorney(s) to have the power to make decisions about ‘life-sustaining treatment’, you have to expressly give your  chosen Attorney(s)  the power to make such decisions by choosing either option A or Option B in section 5 of the health and welfare LPA form.

You can also give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about day-to-day aspects of your personal welfare, such as your diet, your dress, or your daily routine. It is up to you which of these decisions you want to allow your Attorney to make.  

This type of LPA does not allow the person(s) you have chosen (your Attorney) to make decisions about your property and financial affairs.  If you would like someone to be able to make property and financial affairs decisions on your behalf you will need to make a property and financial affairs LPA.

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