A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to nominate one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal health care and welfare.
The ‘attorney’ would only be able to act in the event that you were unable to – this might be due to diminished mental capacity for example due to senile dementia or being unconscious.
The Health and Welfare LPA is a comprehensive suite of documents including sections on ‘life-sustaining’ treatment – this requires you to positively make a decision one way or another as to whether or not to grant all of the powers to your attorney or not – other decisions include if you could continue to live in your own home with the support of the relevant social services units or if residential care might be more suitable for you.
You can also give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about day-to-day aspects of your personal welfare, should you require help with 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.
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 it differs from the Property and Affairs LPA that it can only be used if you are unable to make the relevant decisions yourself.
This type of LPA is restricted to, matters of health care and personal welfare, and expressly excludes decisions relating to property or finances
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. It is possible to register LPA whilst the Donor still has capacity and leave it dormant until it is required.