How can my wishes be known if I’m too ill to communicate?
If we become too ill to communicate, we are described as having ‘lost capacity’. In these circumstances, whether it happens gradually or without warning, it’s important to have someone to speak on your behalf.
A Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) means that someone you’ve chosen, your attorney, can tell professionals what you would want for your treatment and daily health care. You can include guidance in your LPA to help the attorney know what to say.
For example, the form asks whether your attorney has the power to say yes or no to life-sustaining treatment for you, so you will need to say clearly what you would want them to do.
Writing and registering an LPA now means that, if you become unable to make decisions or communicate, your attorney will already legally be ready to act on your behalf.
If you do not have an LPA registered the situation is different. Your family can say what they think you would want to do, but the people caring for you will make their decisions based on what they think is best for you.
How do you set up a Health & Welfare LPA?
1. Choose carefully
Consider who should be your attorney(s). If you choose more than one, you need to say whether they have to agree on each decision, or whether they can represent you on their own.
For Advice; Preparation of all documents; Acting as Certificate Provider
Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs – £325
Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Care Decisions – £325
Both Personal Lasting Power of Attorney for one person – £500*
Both Personal Lasting Power of Attorney for a couple – £950*
Office of Public Guardian registration fees: £82 per document**
*No additional discounts may be used alongside this discounted fee
**This is reduced to £41 per document if your income is below £12,000 per year.
They will be able to do all sorts of things for you. They might ask your Financial Affairs Attorney (if you have one) to pay for your toiletries, talk to your healthcare providers about your care, sign medical consent forms, and be your voice in situations where life saving or prolonging treatment is being discussed.
You must ensure your attorneys understand their role. Talk to them before you complete the forms, and include on the form any particular views you want them to communicate on your behalf.
2. Complete the paperwork and register the LPA
We can do this for you, to ensure the application is completed correctly and signed. We can also send the LPA to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG charges a fee of £82.00 for this and it can take up to 3 months to get it registered. It must be registered before it can be effective.
3. Storage and amendment of the LPA
When it has been registered, nothing else happens until you lose the ability to make your own decisions or to communicate. If that happens, the attorney can speak on your behalf straight away.
You should store the LPA somewhere safe and make sure the attorney knows exactly where it is, so that they can find it when they need it.
Making changes to a registered LPA costs money, and there are particular rules about how you amend or revoke your LPA. Please contact us for advice if you do need to do this.
Have you heard of Advance Decisions (Living Wills)?
If you have already made one of these, then you must get advice before you set up a Health & Welfare LPA. Talk to us if so.
Read more about Lasting Powers of Attorney on our LPAs page.
Call 01865 688309 or
to make an appointment that suits you, either here at our office or at your home