The Office of the Public Guardian have recently launched a Power of Attorney campaign encouraging people to put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney not only for your property and financial affairs but for your health and welfare. Their survey found that 72% of people surveyed believed that their next of kin always gets the final say in treatment decisions at hospital if you can’t make them yourself. This is not true. Medical decisions need the specific, agreed consent of the person involved, before a next of kin can make treatment or welfare choices on someone else’s behalf.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare gives you the peace of mind that you have appointed a trusted person to act as your attorney. That person can then make decisions about your daily routine, your medical care, care arrangements such as a move to a care home or live-in-carers and decisions about life-sustaining treatment, if you cannot make these decisions for yourself.
Putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place for your property and financial affairs and your health and welfare should be as important as making a Will. Powers of Attorney are not just for people with wealth and assets they are designed to protect your future health decisions as well as your property and finances. Kate Shute, Beers Solicitors, 29 Fore Street, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1AA Tel: 01548 857000