A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), is a legal document which allows a person (known as the donor), to appoint an attorney. The attorney being someone they know and trust to make important decisions on their behalf should they become unable to do so in the future. 
♦ Attorneys must always act in the best interest of the donor. 
With an LPA in place, your attorney has the authority to make the following decisions on your behalf, which include: 
Make decisions on life-sustaining treatment 
Where the donor lives i.e. relocation into a care home or sheltered accommodation 
Decisions surrounding day to day routine care , exercise and dietary requirements 
Arranging medical and / or dental care 
Health & Welfare LPA – How it works: 
♦ It will only come into effect once the donor loses mental capacity 
♦ Can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG), can typically take up to sixteen weeks to register 
It is a common misconception that a Health & Welfare LPA is only required for those that are of an older age. The harsh reality is that capacity could be lost at any time due to a stroke, serious accident, or even a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s. 
If you should lose capacity and there is no Health and Welfare LPA in place, family / friends will not have the automatic authority to make important decisions on your behalf in regards to your health and welfare. And after such event, cannot apply to the Court of Protection to obtain. Instead, strangers could make those decisions for you, and those decisions may not be what you or your family would have wanted, for example social services could decide where you live and what care you receive. 
If there is no LPA in place and you lose capacity, a friend or family member can apply to the Court of Protection to become a ‘Deputy’ to act and make decisions affecting your Property and Financial affairs on your behalf. This can however be a long and expensive process, which to apply can typically take six months and in some cases much longer, and cost in the region of three to four thousand pounds. 
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