When we are planning for the future we must always consider the possibility of becoming unable to look after our own affairs because of physical or mental incapacity.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can help in these situations because an LPA allows you (the donor) to give another person (the attorney) the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on the donor’s behalf relating to property and financial affairs, which could include selling their home.
A Health and Welfare LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on the donor’s behalf relating to health and welfare, which could include where the donor should live, who they should (or should not) see, and giving or refusing consent to life-sustaining treatment.
If you were to become mentally incapable of making health and welfare decisions and did not have a Health and Welfare LPA then it will be up to health professionals to make decisions on your behalf, after applying a “best interests” test.
However, this may result in a decision being made that you would have not agreed with had you been mentally capable.
If you instead have a Health and Welfare LPA then health professionals are legally obliged to comply with the decisions of the attorney.
If you would like more information about the various LPAs and how they can be of benefit, then please do not hesitate to contact us.