You can, should you wish, give your Health and Welfare Power of Attorney the ability to make decisions regarding what could, ultimately, be life sustaining treatment.
However, if you determine that this level of control over your health should not be placed into the hands of anybody unqualified, you can state that healthcare professionals must make these decisions instead, using their professional opinions as a basis.
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If you want the person making the decisions for you down the line to be somebody you know you can trust, a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare could be perfect for you. Get in touch today.
How to Set Up a Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare
In order for a person to have the power to make decisions on your behalf, you, with full mental capacity, must select and appoint a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and formally register them with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Without signoff from the OPG, your Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is invalid.
The formal process of how to set up a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare is as follows:
1. Select an Attorney
Choosing the attorney you intend to appoint to the role is an important task and one that cannot be taken lightly. You must make clear who you wish to appoint, and if choosing more than one, in what capacity you want them to act (either jointly, severally, or both jointly and severally).
- Jointly: Your attorneys must co-operate on all matters.
- Severally: Your attorneys can use the power afforded to them independently of each other.
- Jointly and Severally: The appointed attorneys may choose whether they act together or separately, often depending on personal expertise or geographical convenience.
The process of selecting your attorney should also include identifying ‘people who need to be told’ that you are intending to register a Power of Attorney. This could, for example, be a spouse, child, parent, or other loved one. However, you are under no obligation to include anybody in this section — relatives have no automatic right to be informed.
2. Obtain Required Signatures
For the appointment of your power of attorney to be official, prior to the required forms being sent on to the OPG, they must first be signed by all applicable parties. Persons required to sign the forms include:
- The donor.
- A ‘certificate provider’. This role often goes to your doctor who is required to attest that you have the capacity to make such a decision for yourself.
- Any and all attorney’s you intend to appoint
3. Send Forms and Payment to the OPG
Once Power of Attorney forms have been signed, you must then return them to the Office of the Public Guardian, along with payment. The fee to register an LPA is £82. However, if the donor is eligible for certain financial benefits, they may be exempt from payment. Additionally, if the donor’s income (before tax) is lower than £12,000 per year, they will be eligible for a 50% remission, meaning they would only be required to pay half.
You are still required to physically sign the document if you have utilised the government’s online LPA creation tool. In this scenario you must print the forms out, sign them by hand, and send them over when finished.
4. Register Your Power of Attorney
It will generally take up to 10 weeks to fully register a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, at times this amount can be inflated due to potential delays in the process at the OPG.
If the OPG is happy that all documents are completed and signed properly, they will send back a stamped copy of the Power of Attorney documents, to formally verify the appointment. An LPA without a verification stamp is deemed invalid and cannot be used.
What you do with this documentation is up to you, it can be kept at home, you can give it to your Power of Attorney for safe keeping, etc. However, since these forms are incredibly important, you may want to consider passing it on to a trusted party for secure document storage services.
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Ensure that all of your affairs are protected and your wishes are taken into account down the line, no matter what happens. Get in touch with one of our consultants today to find out what a dedicated Lasting Power of Attorney can do for you.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
In much the same way that a health and welfare LPA can make decisions regarding your wellbeing, a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint somebody to take over the management of your property and finances should you be no longer able.
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What Does a Health and Welfare LPA Cover?
A Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare covers key decisions regarding your personal wellbeing. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Medical treatment you receive
- What type of care you get
- The location you receive care
- What you eat
- How you dress
Who Should I Choose to be my Health and Welfare LPA?
While you may select anybody over the age of 18 to be your attorney, the role is most commonly given to either partners or trusted family members/friends. When selecting your LPA, you should choose somebody that you know you can trust — somebody you are certain will act in line with your wishes.
However, it is also important to take into account that your Health and Welfare LPA will likely be required to make some important and often difficult decisions. As a result, it is important that you select somebody that you believe will be able to handle this responsibility.
How Do I Activate Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare?
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney does not need to be ‘activated’ prior to use. It will come into force as soon as it is deemed that you are no longer able to make the important decisions for yourself. However, your LPA must be officially registered by the donor before it can be used.