What is the difference between a living will and a health and welfare LPA?
A living will, also known as an advance decision/directive, only applies to decisions regarding ‘life-sustaining treatment’ in the event of a ‘terminal illness’. This means it is only valid if you are unable to communicate your wishes, and it does not give any other body the ability to act for you, and make decisions on your behalf, only uphold the directives you yourself have outlined in your living will.
On the other hand, a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is much broader, in that it gives someone else the ability to make decisions on your behalf. This covers all medical and general welfare decisions such as surgeries, treatments, care as far to the extent of determining where you live, what you wear etc. Although there are many positives to an LPA, it does open the doors to a vulnerable adult being abused, neglected and decisions being made that are not in their best interests, therefore it is important to appoint an Attorney who you generally believe you can trust.
To highlight concisely the answer to this question, a living will only applies to decisions regarding ‘life-sustaining treatment’ and is the individual’s directive, however an LPA for Health and Welfare gives an appointed body power to make decisions on their behalf regarding anything to do with their health, and welfare, which is a very large scope of decision making!
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