Why do I need a Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare?

The reasons that you might need a LPA - Health and welfare, and what your appointed attorneys would be able to do

A 'Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare' is a legal document in which you can authorise someone to make decisions about your personal welfare in the event that you become incapable of making decisions for yourself. This could be because you have developed an illness such as dementia or you may simply be concerned that you will be unable to cope in your old age.

You can appoint as many people you like to be your attorney, although they must be at least 18 years of age and have full mental capacity. In addition, you must make sure each person you have appointed agrees to act as your attorney before completing your 'Lasting powers of attorney'.

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In a 'Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare' you can authorise your 'attorneys' to make decisions such as:

  • Where you live
  • What sort of health care you receive
  • Social activities you undertake
  • Where to go on holiday
  • What sort of food to eat
  • Whether or not you receive life-sustaining treatment

However, before the 'Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare' can be used, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Furthermore, your attorneys will only able to act on your behalf if and when you lose mental capacity.