For many of us, the global pandemic has made us think about what would happen if we were ever too ill or incapacitated to manage our own welfare and financial affairs. Creating a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney ensures that someone you trust can oversee your care, honour the decisions you make now about things like end of life choices, and generally act in your best interests.

Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place now can ensure that your loved ones can make decisions on your behalf in the full knowledge that they are acting in accordance with your wishes which is particularly important for end of life care.

The Clients

William and Frances Hill chose ZEDRA Estate Planning to handle the drafting of their Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney.

They are both in their mid-50s with two sons. They live in South Manchester and both work in the medical profession. They have had first-hand experience of the importance of having an Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare when someone is seriously ill. Seeing the issues faced by their colleagues and families at a very distressing time, they both felt they should draft LPAs now whilst they were healthy and well. In addition to the Health and Welfare LPA, they saw the benefit of also creating the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time so asked us to help with this too.

“I have recently spent time supporting in a hospital Intensive Care Unit and experienced the upset and anguish when families have had difficult decisions to make about loved ones and are either unable to agree or cannot always be contacted when decisions are needed quickly. From my side, it has been upsetting to not be able to treat patients as quickly as we would have liked because of this.” Frances Hill, South Manchester

The Challenge

William called us having seen an advert in his local newspaper. After an initial consultation, we arranged a detailed follow up call with both William and Frances. Frances explained why it was important to them to complete their LPAs now.

The LPA for Health and Welfare contains a section specifically relating to life sustaining treatment. This can relate to surgery or medicine that is required to keep you alive or might just be a course of antibiotics for example if the infection they are required to treat could be life threatening if left untreated. When making the application you can decide whether your attorney should be able to make these decisions on your behalf or you can leave the decision to be made by the medical team caring for you in consultation with your family. Having the LPA in place and wishes already understood means that decisions can be made much more quickly and in the knowledge that the person’s wishes are being followed.

William and Frances wished to appoint each other and their sons to act as their attorneys. In regard to the life sustaining treatment question, they decided to leave the decision to the medical teams in consultation with their family as they felt it would be difficult to place that burden on their sons. As they both work in the medical profession, they had also seen how well this worked in practice. This is however a very personal choice and you may feel more comfortable for your attorneys to make those decisions for you.

The Outcome

William and Frances were very relieved to have put in place their LPAs after seeing the difficulties for families whose relatives were seriously ill in hospital.

As they both work full time in high pressure roles, working with ZEDRA Estate Planning meant that after the initial call the burden of completing the time consuming applications and checking of all the documentation was taken from them. They were also grateful to our expert team for lodging the documents with the Office of the Public Guardian on their behalf.

You can read more about our services here. If you are considering applying for a Lasting Power of Attorney or would like to know more about the process and how we can help, please call us on 01565 748 808 or email ukestateplanning@zedra.com