Lasting Power of Attorney – Health and Welfare


In this article James Palmer, a solicitor in the Private Client Department at Fraser Dawbarns LLP, sets out the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney for an individual’s Health and Welfare

Whilst working in the Private Client Department at Fraser Dawbarns LLP it has become evident that people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). However, it is also clear that this awareness is somewhat focused towards that of Property and Financial Affairs.

In this article I aim to set out the equal importance of the somewhat forgotten LPA, relating to an individual’s Health and Welfare.

Understandably, I find that when I meet clients to make LPAs many of them tend to veer towards wanting to get their financial affairs in order. Why wouldn’t they? They’ve worked hard for what is theirs, and they wish to protect this by appointing those they trust most to deal with such matters, should they lose capacity to do so themselves.

However, and excuse me if I sound too reflective or sentimental here, but I would ask what is more important than one’s health. Yes, I agree that it is extremely important to ensure that my finances and property are dealt with, particularly if it came to the point that I could not personally do so in my lifetime. But I also believe that it is equally important, if not arguably more so, to ensure that my health and welfare is being look after by those I love and trust most.

When making a LPA for Health and Welfare you are basically electing for someone to personal and important decisions for you, in the event of you losing your capacity. This spans from organising doctor’s appointments, and making decisions as to your care and where you live, to ultimately deciding whether to refuse or consent to life-sustaining treatment.

As such, you can see the significance of such an all-encompassing document, which takes your health and welfare out of the hands of strangers, and in to the hands of those who know you best (who can of course discuss and consult with doctors, and other such professionals, who specialise in their respective fields).

With the above in mind, should someone lose their capacity and have a Health and Welfare LPA in place, their attorneys can step in right away to make those big decisions on your behalf and in your best interests. However, should they not have such a document in place those big decisions are put in the hands of those who, although inevitably acting in your best interests, have no personal knowledge or connection to you.

Here at Fraser Dawbarns we can prepare, execute and register an LPA for your Health and Welfare for the total of £400 + VAT for a single person, or £650 + VAT for a couple (plus a compulsory registration fee of £110 per LPA). With this in mind, I would personally pay such a price for the peace of mind that, should I lose my mental capacity, that my best interests are being looked after by those closest to me.

by James Palmer from the King’s Lynn office