Associate and Head of the Elderly Care and Court of Protection Amanda Piper, covers the implications people may face if nothing is put in place in terms of their health and welfare.
It’s not a widely known fact, but it is possible to have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) drawn up to appoint attorneys to manage your health and welfare if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself.
As people live longer, that in turn means their needs are changing and more people will require long term care. Care doesn’t come cheap and this can have a big impact on finances – especially as more people are being required to self-fund their care due to owning their home, or having money in the bank.
Many people fail to consider that when they become frail, how do they make decisions with regard to their care placement, treatment decisions and their personal health?
Whilst an LPA may be in place to manage your finances and your attorney can pay the invoices for the care home, what happens if decisions need to be made with regards to any specific care needs?
The answer is that you can complete an LPA for health and welfare, naming attorneys who can act for you. It has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. However, it cannot be used while you still have mental capacity.
While you’re still able to say where you would wish to be cared for, and how you would wish to be treated, the LPA doesn’t need to be used. The LPA will only be used if you lose mental capacity. Local Authorities would then speak to your attorneys as to how you would wish to be cared for and what wishes you might have.
Overall, the LPA for health and welfare will give you a voice when you are unable to speak for yourself. You can set out your wishes in advance so that your attorneys know exactly what your thoughts were at the time when you did the LPA.
It is a worthwhile step and one far too many people miss before it’s too late.
About the author
Amanda is an associate within our respected Private Client department and Head of the Elderly Care and Court of Protection team. A chartered legal executive, she handles a wide range of wills and probate issues, together with Lasting Powers of Attorney, cases relating to the Court of Protection and issues concerning funding for care with Local Authorities and the NHS Continuing Health Care.
She is also a regular commentator on wills and probate matters in the media, including BBC radio.
Amanda can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org