Lasting Powers of Attorney and health care decisions

17/12/2018

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables a person to appoint someone (an Attorney) to help make decisions relating to a person’s property and financial affairs in the event that person becomes unable make those decisions themselves due to loss of mental capacity. ​
Whilst many people are familiar with an LPA in relation to decisions affecting property and financial affairs, many are not aware that there are in fact two types of LPA. In addition, there is also an LPA in relation to decisions affecting a person’s health and care. This type of LPA enables Attorneys to make decisions regarding not only day to day matters concerning personal well being, but also more complex decisions relating to healthcare and treatment.
The lack of general awareness of this second type of LPA has recently been highlighted by Solicitors For the Elderly (SFE) who conducted a study which concluded that the UK is heading towards an ‘incapacity crisis’ as there is expected to be a significant number of people suffering with dementia who do not have a Health and Care LPA in place.​

DIFFERENT TYPES OF LPAS

Whilst many people are familiar with an LPA in relation to decisions affecting property and financial affairs, many are not aware that there are in fact two types of LPA. In addition, there is also an LPA in relation to decisions affecting a person’s health and care. This type of LPA enables Attorneys to make decisions regarding not only day to day matters concerning personal well being, but also more complex decisions relating to healthcare and treatment. The lack of general awareness of this second type of LPA has recently been highlighted by Solicitors For the Elderly (SFE) who conducted a study which concluded that the UK is heading towards an ‘incapacity crisis’ as there is expected to be a significant number of people suffering with dementia who do not have a Health and Care LPA in place.

IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTH & CARE LPA

 In their report, SFE explains that the number of people diagnosed with dementia in the UK has risen by 50% over the last decade, and this figure is expected to increase. It is estimated that there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, a figure that is expected to reach 1.3m over the next 10 years. It is also accepted that there are many more living with dementia that have not yet been diagnosed. In contrast there are only 928,000 registered Health and Care LPAs, meaning there will be a considerable number of people suffering from dementia and their families will not be in a position to follow their wishes or make decisions on their behalf.

Whilst it is possible to obtain an order from the Court of Protection to become a Deputy in relation to decisions affecting a person’s Health and Care, the Court is generally more likely to only make an order in relation to a specific Health and Care decision rather than make an order giving general authority to make all types of Health and Care decisions. Further, such an order can take a considerable length of time to be granted.

Having a Health and Care LPA in place is an important part of personal planning and the most effective way of ensuring personal wishes are formally recorded and observed.​

MORE INFORMATION 

If you are interested in learning more about Health and Care LPAs, or you would like to prepare one, please contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be able to assist you. 


​VISIT OUR LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY HOMEPAGE FOR MORE DETAILS


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

17/12/2018

Popular Insights

Footer bg

Would you like to know more?

For help and advice, talk to a member of our team. They can advise on the best options in your matter.

Call: 01708 229 444 Email us

Portfolio Builder

Select the legal services that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Portfolio
Title Type CV Email

Remove All

Download


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)