Do I need a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney in addition to a finance one?

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Often when clients come in to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), they only choose to make the financial affairs LPA and decide that they don’t require the health and welfare LPA. However, a recent audit of 9,000 patients by the Royal College of Physicians showed that 20% of families were not told that their loved one had an imposed ‘do not resuscitate’ order placed on them by medical staff without their own or their families consent.

This study goes to show that in fact planning for your future in terms of your medical treatment, care and welfare can be just as important as financial planning. It is more likely that you will need to use the financial affairs LPA, nevertheless, this does not mean that the health and welfare LPA is less important. Surely it makes sense to plan for all scenarios and put both LPA’s into place at the same time.

Having a health and welfare LPA promotes discussion between families and ensures that important questions such as;

  • Do you wish to be resuscitated?
  • What type of life sustaining treatment would you wish to undertake/refuse?
  • If you had to go into care, what type of care home would you like to go in?

are dealt with whilst you have the ability to speak for yourself and explain to your family what your exact wishes are, rather than have medical staff make those decisions for you.

It is not an easy time for families when their loved one requires life sustaining treatment and is unable to make decisions about the treatment for themselves. However, if their wishes have been discussed in advance and the ability to action those wishes implemented via an LPA, a great deal of pressure can be taken off the family during this difficult time.

Should you require any further information, please contact Jennifer Wilkinson in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Department on freephone 0800 975 2643 or send any question via our online contact form.

Jennifer Wilkinson

About Jennifer Wilkinson

Jennifer Wilkinson is an Associate Solicitor within the Wills, Probate, Trusts and Tax Department at Forbes Solicitors. Jennifer’s blogs cover her specialisms of Will writing, dealing with the administration of estates, paying for care, powers of attorney and court of protection issues. Jennifer is also a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and specialises in matters specifically relating to elderly clients.
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