Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and also, importantly, after the Donor has lost mental capacity. It offers a broad scope for making decisions in a number of areas. These include:

  • Where the donor should live and who they should live with
  • The Donor’s day-to-day care
  • Consent to or refuse medical examination and treatment
  • Assessment for and provision of community care services
  • The Donor’s personal correspondence and papers
  • Complaints about the Donor’s care or treatment

LPAs are tailor-made to the individual. At the time of making the LPA the Donor can modify the scope of the power. These restrictions can be stated in the LPA at the outset so that it is clear which decisions the Attorney is allowed
to make. 

An Attorney can only consent to or refuse life-sustaining or life-prolonging treatment on behalf of the Donor if expressly authorised to do so by the LPA. The Attorney is duty bound to act in the best interests of the Donor at all times, and in cases of end-of-life treatment should consult with carers and family members who have an interest in the Donor’s welfare.

Generally an LPA provides people with the ability to exercise a much greater degree of control over their future care in the event of loss of capacity. Making a personal welfare LPA needs careful consideration beforehand and may involve consultation with family members and medical practitioners.


LPA Instructions & Preferences


The only circumstances in which you must write an instruction is in a financial LPA if:

  • you have investments managed by a bank and want that to continue
  • you want to allow your attorneys to let a bank manage your investments

are what you’d like all your attorneys to think about when they make decisions for you. Your attorneys don’t have to follow them but should bear them in mind.
If you write any preferences, avoid words such as ‘must’ and ‘shall’. Instead use words such as ‘prefer’ and ‘would like’, so it’s clear that you’re giving your attorneys advice. If your attorneys must do something, include it in your instructions.


Examples of preferences

Health and welfare LPA

Here are some examples of preferences you might write in a health and Welfare LPA:
“I prefer to live within five miles of my sister.”
“I’d like to be prescribed generic medicines where they are available.”
“I would like to take exercise at least three times a week whenever I am physically able to do so. Whether or not I am mobile, I would like to spend time outdoors at least once a day.”
“I’d like my pets to live with me for as long as possible – if I go into a care home, I’d like to take them with me.”
“I’d like to have regular haircuts, manicures and pedicures.”


Property and financial affairs LPA

Here are some examples of preferences you might write in a financial LPA:
“I like to reinvest all interest from each year’s investments into next year’s ISA allowance.”
“I would like to maintain a minimum balance of £1,000 in my current account.”
“I prefer to invest in ethical funds.”
“I’d like my attorneys to consult my doctor if they think I don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions about my house.”
“I would like to donate £100 each year to Age UK.”


tell your attorneys what they must do when acting on your behalf. If you write any instructions, use words such as ‘must’, ‘shall’ and ‘have to’.
Instructions cause more problems than preferences. If you want to give instructions, read through the information below to find out about common problems and mistakes. It may be better to phrase them as preferences.
There are some examples below of common preferences and instructions for both types of LPA. They may not be right for you – they are just to give you an idea of what you might write. Your preferences and instructions should be about what matters to you.


Examples of Instructions

Health and welfare LPA

Here are some examples of instructions you might write in a health and care LPA:
“My attorneys must not decide I am to move into residential care unless, in my doctor’s opinion, I can no longer live independently.”
“My attorneys must not consent to any medical treatment involving blood products, as this is against my religion.”
“My attorneys must ensure I am given only vegetarian food.”


Property and financial affairs LPA

Here are some examples of instructions you might write in a financial LPA:
“My attorneys must consult a financial adviser before making investments over £10,000.”
“My attorneys must not sell my home unless, in my doctor’s opinion, I can no longer live independently.”
“My attorneys must not make any gifts.”
“My attorneys must continue to donate to charities that I have supported or for which I have set up standing order payments.”
“My attorneys must send annual accounts to my brothers and sisters.”
“My attorneys must instruct a tax accountant to prepare my annual tax return.”
“This lasting power of attorney only applies if a doctor confirms in writing that I don’t have the capacity to make decisions about my finances.”