GN Law - Our People News and TV

What is a Health and Welfare LPA and why do you need one?

Our People - Chryso Loizides
4 July, 2023

A Health and Welfare LPA is a legal document which gives another person or persons (known as your ‘attorneys’) the authority to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to take those decisions yourself, like where you should live, what type of medical treatment you should receive and refusing or consenting to life-sustaining treatment. 

Without a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare in place, the court is likely to grant social workers the right to make decisions on your behalf instead of your family members and access to funds may be delayed for months.

Why should you have a Health and Welfare LPA?

You can plan for the future by creating a health and welfare LPA, which allows you to choose someone you trust to make decisions for you if you lose capacity (for example through dementia or injury).

What are the risks of not having a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you lose capacity, you will no longer be able to decide who makes decisions for you, and there will be no one, chosen by you in advance, who has the right to make decisions on your behalf regarding your health and welfare. This is why it is important to plan ahead with a health and welfare LPA.

Your family and friends will have no control over what decisions are made on your behalf, and will have to go to court if they want to make decisions on your behalf or challenge someone else’s decisions made for you, which can be much more expensive, time-consuming and stressful.

Do you need a Health and Welfare LPA if you have a Property and Financial Affairs LPA?

Yes, you need both. Most people prefer to make both a health and welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA as it ensures their attorneys will be able to make decisions for them in all the crucial aspects of their lives.

A property and financial affairs attorney cannot make decisions about your health and welfare. For instance, they cannot choose the care home in which you live, but they can arrange payment of the fees.

Also, an attorney can only act once a donor lacks capacity under a health and welfare LPA, but an attorney can act on behalf of a donor who still has capacity under a property and financial affairs LPA.

How do I make a Health and Welfare LPA?

To make a health and welfare lasting power of attorney, you only need to be aged 18 or over and have the capacity to make the same decisions that you want to authorise someone else to make.

Whom should I name as an attorney for my Health and Welfare LPA?

Ideally, when you’re deciding on whom to name as your attorney for your health and welfare LPA, it’s advisable that you speak with this person before you name them and be certain that the person is 18 or over.  

You can name multiple people to act as your attorneys, but you should obtain legal advice before doing so as this can render the LPA unusable if not done correctly.

Can the attorney for a Health and Welfare LPA also be appointed as the attorney for a Property and Financial Affairs LPA?

Yes, you can name the same person as an attorney for both types of LPA, but you will need to fill in two forms, one for the health and welfare LPA, and another for the property and financial affairs LPA.

A solicitor can help you obtain the right forms and fill them out correctly.

How much does a Health and Welfare LPA cost?

We always charge a fixed fee for preparing a health and welfare LPA, so you will be in full control over how much you spend.

Our current fee for a health and welfare LPA is £500 or £750 for both the health and welfare PLUS the property and financial affairs LPA + VAT (at 20%).

If a couple just want one or either LPA for the both of them (e.g. if they both only want the health and welfare LPA) then the cost is the same, i.e. £750 + VAT (at 20%) for the two LPAs.

There is also a fee of £82 to register each type of LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. If you’re on a low income, you may be eligible for a 50% discount on the registration fee and if you’re receiving means-tested benefits you won’t have to pay the registration fee at all.

5 benefits of having a Health and Welfare LPA

  1. Choose who makes welfare decisions on your behalf
  2. Your attorney can act immediately on welfare decisions
  3. Cheaper to initially set up a health and welfare LPA
  4. Loved ones are included in decision making
  5. Peace of mind for your health and welfare

1. Choose who makes welfare decisions on your behalf

If you lose capacity, someone you have chosen, rather than a court or a professional deputy you don’t know, can take decisions on your behalf regarding your care and welfare.

2. Your attorney can act immediately on welfare decisions

Your attorney can start making decisions on your behalf immediately (provided the health and welfare LPA is registered).

3. Cheaper to initially set up a health and welfare LPA

The cost of setting up a health and welfare LPA is much cheaper than your family needing to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy.

4. Loved ones are included in decision making

It helps avoid a situation where the local authority takes decisions regarding your care and your family suffers the upset (and sometimes anger) at feeling excluded.

5. Peace of mind for your health and welfare

You will have the peace of mind that your care and welfare will be overseen by someone you trust and who understands your wishes should you lose the capacity to take decisions on your health and welfare yourself.

6 risks of not having a Health and Welfare LPA?

  1. Court rarely grants powers to family
  2. Family members excluded from the decision-making process
  3. Higher cost for a deputyship
  4. Delays can increase financial burden
  5. Court will decide on the powers of the deputy
  6. Professional deputies may not understand your wishes

1. Court rarely grants powers to family

When people lose capacity without granting someone a health and welfare LPA, courts very rarely grant these powers to family members. They will, most likely, be taken by social workers at the local authority.

2. Family members excluded from the decision-making process

If you’re left with the local authority taking decisions regarding your care and welfare, your family are likely to suffer upset (and sometimes anger) at feeling excluded from important decisions taken about your care and welfare.

3. Higher cost for a deputyship

The cost to your family of applying to court to make decisions on your behalf, including court fees and solicitor’s fees, will be much more expensive than setting up a health and welfare LPA in advance. The likely cost of an uncontested application for appointment as a deputy (including court fees and VAT) is likely to be in the region of £1,500 – £2,000. 

If a professional deputy is appointed by the court instead of allowing your family members to make welfare decisions for you, their professional fees (which they will charge annually, depleting the funds available for your care) will also be significant.

4. Delays can increase financial burden

The Court of Protection can take months to appoint a deputy to take decisions on your behalf. This delay can place a financial burden and cause stress on your family, who may not be able to manage your welfare while the proceedings are ongoing.

5. Court will decide on the powers of the deputy

If the court appoints a deputy to make decisions for you, the court will decide what powers they will be given. These powers may not cover everything you would like your family or friends to be able to do on your behalf.

6. Professional deputies may not understand your wishes

A court-appointed professional deputy may not understand your wishes regarding your health and welfare in the same way that an attorney appointed by you would.

For more information about preparing and registering your property and financial affairs LPA, or have any issues relating to Lasting Powers of Authority, please contact our Power of Attorney Solicitors for a free consultation on 020 8492 2290 or email us at sols@gnlaw.co.uk.

Related Articles

When someone passes away, their loved ones are often left with numerous emotional and legal responsibilities. Two terms that frequently arise during this process are ‘power of attorney’ and ‘probate’. But how do they differ?
Our People - Andrew Guile
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) released legal guidance tailored to professional deputies and attorneys concerning the rules governing gift-giving. This article highlights some of the key issues outlined in that guidance.
Our People - Navin Bundhoo
When circumstances leave individuals unable to handle their own financial affairs, there are legal mechanisms available to protect their financial stability, such as Deputyship and LPAs. 
Our People - GN
Divorce has significant impact in a person’s life and requires a rebalancing of your affairs. From a financial and welfare perspective, updating your will and considering the status of your lasting powers of attorney (LPA) is crucial.
Our People - Andrew Guile
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA is a legal document which gives another person or persons (known as your ‘attorneys’) the authority to make decisions on your behalf, like buying or selling property, making investments, paying your mortgage and bills, and giving people access to financial information about you.
Our People - Chryso Loizides
When it comes to making important decisions about healthcare and personal matters, individuals have legal tools at their disposal to ensure their wishes are honoured. Two commonly used instruments are the Living Will and the Lasting Power of Attorney. Although both serve similar purposes, they differ in significant ways.
Our People - Chryso Loizides

Send a message

We will only use the information you enter in this form to contact you about your enquiry and will not share it with anyone else. Please read our Privacy Notice.

Please note that we are not accepting any new housing work at this time.