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Lasting Power of Attorney – Why do I need one?

Life is about decisions. Make them or they’re made for you, but you can’t avoid them!

A recent judgement in the case of M v A Hospital [2017] decided that medical practitioners have no legal obligation to seek the sanction of the Court prior to withdrawing clinically assisted nutrition and hydration from patients in a permanently vegetative or minimally conscious state. As long as all concerned are in agreement that to provide such treatment is no longer in the person’s best interests.

This poses an important question for us all. Who would you want to have the power to discuss your life-sustaining treatment with Doctors and to assist with making decisions regarding your health and welfare if you were not in a position to do so yourself?

In light of this recent court decision, it is important that everyone has made provisions to ensure that they have the correct people making decisions regarding their health-related affairs.

So, everyone over 18, with the capacity to do so, should complete a Lasting Power of Attorney. This will cover unforeseen situations which prevent them from taking care of their own affairs.

What kind of Power of Attorney do I need?

Two types of Lasting Power of Attorney are available – Property and Finance Decisions and Health and Welfare Decisions. If prepared, these would allow you to appoint someone you trust to manage your affairs and to make decisions on your behalf if you became unable to do so.

Crucially, a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare will allow you to appoint someone you trust to make health and care decisions for you if you can’t. This would include where you live, your care provision or life-sustaining treatment.

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance will enable you to appoint someone to manage your bank accounts and investments, sell a property, manage business interests and liaise with official organisations on your behalf.

Having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place gives people the peace of mind that if they ever lose capacity, someone they have chosen and trust will make the important decisions about their life.

If you require assistance in preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact us without obligation.

At the time of this article, we offer a 30% discount on all our Wills and LPA services.

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