10
Dec

Protecting your Health and Welfare Wishes as well as your Finances

James Beech Read 328 times

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Radfield Home Care work with many businesses and associations in the community with a continued focus on delivering an exceptional care service to its clients and signposting its clients to services and products that can benefit them and their loved ones.

Radfield Home Care Stamford have teamed up with local law firm Hegarty solicitors. Established in 1974, Hegarty is one of the largest law firms in the Stamford region, offering expertise across a wide range of legal services.

Andrea Beesley-Hewitt, a partner in the private client department with Hegarty Solicitors, specialises in ‘Court of Protection’ work and is involved in making ‘Deputyship Applications’ for both property and financial affairs and health and welfare, including making statutory will applications in respect of persons unable to make a will themselves.

Andrea has kindly prepared and shared with Radfield Home Care, some great professional advice on financial planning.

 

Lasting Power of Attorney


Regularly, I see clients who wish to consider putting in place a financial document, in order that a family member may make a financial decision on their behalf in the future. Many clients are aware they can put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place to appoint an Attorney to help manage finances and property in the future. However, they are not always aware that there is another separate document that they can create in respect of decision making around their health and welfare.

 

The importance of a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney


This type of LPA allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions about matters such as medical treatment, your diet, where you live, who you see and give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment decisions. This type of LPA can only be used by your Attorney(s) once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and once you are no longer able to make the decision by yourself.

My advice to client’s would always be to consider creating both documents; however, in my opinion, I believe that the Health and Welfare LPA is the more important one to do. Decisions surrounding the Health and Welfare LPA are all about you as a person and that is why it should be considered at least as equally important as the Property and Financial Affairs LPA.

If a financial LPA is not created, and the person loses capacity, then an Application to the Court of Protection can be made. Whilst this Application may be time consuming and expensive it is likely to have a successful outcome in appointing a Deputy for property and financial affairs. However, this cannot be said for a health and welfare appointment. The current Code of Practice in the Court of Protection states that a welfare Deputy should only be appointed in “the most difficult cases”.

 

Do I need Health and Welfare LPA?


The Health and Welfare LPA allows your appointed Attorney(s) to make a number of decisions in regard to your general health and welfare. These include making decisions in relation to your daily routine, covering things such as your diet, general hygiene, grooming and then to more major decisions including medical treatment and also including whether you should have life sustaining treatment (if you have given your Attorney(s) the authority to do so). Under Section 5 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, most people can have the decision made for them concerning care or treatment; and for it to be in their best interest if they lost the capacity to make their own decisions, to carry out the care or treatment.

 

What types of things do I include in a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?


An LPA provides for any preferences for specific instructions that you may wish to leave to your Attorney(s). For example, you can leave instructions for medical treatment or you can state that you follow a vegetarian diet. I always recommend that you prepare a separate Letter of Wishes setting out your detailed views on health and welfare decisions. This Letter of Wishes should be shared with your Attorney(s) and should be updated and discussed regularly. You can include as much information as you would like.

The Health and Welfare LPA is a powerful document and so you should consider taking advice from a suitably qualified professional to discuss the options available to you. If you would like further advice, please contact Andrea Beesley-Hewitt at Hegarty’s Solicitors on 01780 750 952 or email andrea.beesley-hewitt@hegarty.co.uk

 


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