Why do I need a Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare (England and Wales)?

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 and care in the event that you become mentally incapable of making these decisions for yourself. This could be because you're concerned that you might develop an illness such as dementia or you may simply be preparing should you become unable to cope mentally 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 power 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

The 'Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare' can only be used to make decisions on your behalf once it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and then only if and when you lose mental capacity to do so yourself.

The information on this page applies to England and Wales only.

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