• Home
  • Legal Hub
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney and health care decisions
3 minutes reading time (656 words)

Lasting Powers of Attorney and health care decisions

b2ap3_medium_Lasting-Power-of-Attorney
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. 



 
High Court finds discretion is not always the bett...
Lunch & Laughter at our Private Client Christmas E...

Related Posts

© Pinney Talfourd Solicitors | Disclaimer | Offices: Upminster | Brentwood | Hornchurch | Leigh-on-Sea | Canary Wharf