Why Have a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney?

Capacity to manage your affairs can be lost for many reasons, such as a sudden accident or medical condition. With over 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia (and rising) ensuring your loved ones have the ability to make decisions for you is essential.

Many people understand the advantages of making a Continuing Power of Attorney for financial affairs, often viewing this type of POA as being the most important to have in place and putting off a Welfare POA until a later date.

But is that really the right thing to do?

Ask yourself this – What would concern you most if you were unable to make decisions for yourself?

Would it be – Where you lived? What you ate? What care and medical treatment you were given?

Or would it be – Is my money being spent wisely?

I know what my answer would be!

The following is a true account of what happened recently to a lady when no Lasting power of Attorney for health was in place……

Mum was admitted to hospital and following a lengthy stay Social Services along with the Local Authorities compiled a health report along with an assessment for care. Naturally, her children wanted to be involved in this process and requested that they be consulted with the view to wanting to ensure that the care package would be what Mum would have wanted. Not only were they not invited to any of these meetings to decide Mum’s fate, the authorities also refused to reveal the contents of the health report to her own children. All decisions were made without any of her immediate family being present!

Sadly, this is not an isolated case, How happy would you be to allow Social Services to make all the decisions about where you should live or other professionals deciding what medical treatment you received and your family having no say in the matter?

Having a Welfare POA in place provides the reassurance of knowing that, if the worst should happen, you have chosen someone you trust and knows your wishes, to make these decisions for you. Its importance should not be overlooked.

When should you make yours? 

The short answer is – now!! If you haven’t made a Welfare PoA then do it now – while you still have mental capacity. Mental capacity can be lost at any time, and not just by a mental illness such as dementia. Simple things – a bump to the head or even a car accident take people by surprise. Not having one is a more time consuming and expensive process. Ensure your wishes are carried out by those you love by appointing them as your Attorney today.

 

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