Whilst there are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in the UK, the one we are talking about here concerns the management of your health and welfare. This is known as a Lasting Power of Attorney Health And Welfare. Most people take both available LPAs, although it is not essential to take both at the same time. To fully protect yourself a Property and Finance LPA should also be considered. Let us guide you through what a LPA Health and welfare is.
What is a LPA – Health And Welfare?
A Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare (LPA) is a legal document that enables you to appoint one or more people to make decisions about your future care when you become unable. An LPA for health and welfare is usually created to give people more control over what happens regarding their general wellbeing, living situation and medical decisions, should they have an accident or suffer an illness which results in a ‘lack of mental capacity’.
Lasting powers of attorney enables a nominated person to make decisions on your behalf about your everyday care, health, personal issues and general wellbeing. The powers held within an LPA can only be made utilised when you actually lose capacity and not before.
Such decisions might involve:
- Personal Care – How your personal care is managed and care provisions made in your best interests. This could include deciding on a care company or residential home for you, arranging for meals and shopping to be delivered and enabling you to take part in social activities.
- Living Arrangements – A lasting powers of attorney Health and Welfare enables your attorneys to make decisions about where you should or should not live. You can choose now where you wish to reside should you not be able to in the future.
- Medical Treatment – Your attorney might be asked to make decisions on your behalf regarding medications and treatments you will be offered.
- Palliative Care – Your attorney could be asked to make decisions about life-saving treatment or end of life care.
When making a lasting powers of attorney Health and Welfare you can instruct your attorney what you want to happen when it comes to accepting or refusing life-sustaining treatment. Your own decisions that you record whilst making the LPA will be documented on the form. Your intentions must be clearly stated. Remember, this decision will overrule any advance decision that you have previously made. If you choose not to give your attorney this power to decide on life-sustaining treatment, your advance decision will still stand.
As with an LPA for finance, a health and welfare LPA can only be used after it has been registered at the OPG. However, unlike the LPA for finance, it cannot be used while you still have the mental capacity to make decisions about your own welfare or treatment.
Decisions such as those listed above will directly affect you and your well being. This is why it is very important that your attorney is a person you know and trust.
Do I Need Lasting Powers Of Attorney Health And Welfare?
It is always a good idea for everyone to at least think about making provisions for their future care. By doing so, it ensures that your choices are recorded and therefore carried out, meaning you are looked after in the way you would like.
An LPA for Health and Welfare is particularly important for a person with a family history of dementia or any other illness that will likely cause cognitive impairment. Whilst it is never pleasant to envisage the demise of our decision making capabilities, putting an LPA for Health and Welfare in place will make sure you’ll be looked after in accordance with your wishes as they currently stand. Also, remember: You can set up an LPA for both Finance and Health and Welfare at any time in life, not just as you approach old age.
What Are The Risks Of Not Having An LPA For Health And Welfare?
If you loose capacity without having made an LPA in the UK, your family and/or friends will have to make an application to appoint a deputy. It can actually be a long, expensive struggle to access the vital funds needed for your care. In addition to this, annual fees can drain your assets. If a crisis occurs, family members could be left having to apply for a court order so they can look after you how they think best.
In the absence of a health and welfare LPA, an application can be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed. Deputyship applications are often made by your relatives or close friends but can also be made by professionals such as solicitors. Applying for Deputyship can be a very traumatic, upsetting, lengthy and not to mention expensive process.
Whilst it is possible to appoint both a Property and Financial Affairs deputy and Health and Welfare deputy, the first type is more common as decisions cannot be taken on someone else’s behalf about their property and financial affairs without formal authority in the form of an LPA or deputyship.
Making LPAs for a much lesser cost can avoid all the stress, intrusion and expense involved in applying for deputyship. Our advice is not only to make a Will, but also to make Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare.
How Much Does An LPA For Health And Welfare Cost?
The application fees for lasting powers of attorney Health and Welfare in the UK are £82 per power of attorney. In addition to this, there may be costs for any professional advisors you decide to use; these are much less expensive than Deputyship. A professional ensures the LPA is completed correctly and helps minimise potential issues with the LPA being rendered invalid at the time it is needed.
Lasting Power Of Attorney Cost
You (the donor) will have to pay an initial registration fee of £82 to register a Power of Attorney (in England and Wales – it’s £82 in Scotland, £151 in Northern Ireland.) This charge applies per specific type of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Therefore, to organise an LPA for finance as well as one for health and welfare, you would need to pay £164.
If you wish to make amendments or request a repeat application you will need to make another payment but the registration fee will be reduced by 50% to £41. (If you pay the higher amount or if there is more than one application, refunds are available).
If you want to ensure you create your lasting power of attorney correctly, we would strongly recommend that you seek the support of a professional. Mistakes can have significant implications for you and your loved ones at a later date.
Lasting Power Of Attorney Professional Help
We strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a Professional as they can ensure that the documents are created accurately with no potential ambiguities and ensure that it cannot be rendered invalid if there are any errors in it.
There are concessions and exemptions to some powers of attorney expenses available – for example those in receipt of Income Support, Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or work-related Disability Benefit payments may get a discount of 50% on the initial registration fee.
To find out whether you are eligible for a reduction or exemption from the power of attorney cost, you can speak to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for individual advice.
Do I Need a Professional To Make A LPA?
You can make and register an LPA yourself, however there are dangers in doing this. If any mistakes are made, your LPA could be rendered invalid, meaning that your family will need to apply to the Court of Protection to handle your affairs.
By talking to an LPA provider you can not only be confident that your LPA will be valid but also receive specialist advice on what your LPA will need to cover.
Here at Family Matters, we pride ourselves in providing all of our customers with a professional, cost-effective and bespoke service, however simple or complex your circumstances are.For more guidance on future planning see:
Writing a Will click here
Inheritance Tax Planning click here
Estate Planning click here