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There are times in our lives when we need help making decisions because we are unable to make them ourselves. This may be because of an accident, illness or a medical condition.

So that the decisions made on our behalf by those we trust are accepted by others, like medical teams, we need to formally appoint them as our ‘attorneys’ in a legally binding document called a Lasting Power of Attorney.

A Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare enables you to appoint an attorney or attorneys to make decisions for you about your day to day welfare and also life-sustaining treatment. This means that your attorneys can speak with the medical team on your behalf as if they were you.

Suitable candidates for the role of attorney include your family and friends but you may prefer, in the alternative, for a member or members of your community to take on the role.

A Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare differs from a Living Will or Advance Directive in which you describe the particular medical conditions which makes the Living Will or Advance Directive become effective. Instead, a Lasting Power of Attorney allows your attorneys to interpret all the circumstances which prevail at the time in the light of your preferences and instructions; your attorneys are not anchored to wishes you may have made many years beforehand.

The alternative to a registered Lasting Power of Attorney is a slow and expensive application to the Court of Protection for a Court Order authorising someone, called a ‘Deputy’, to make decisions for you. The Deputy will have ongoing and regular reporting obligations to evidence that they are taking on the role responsibly.

Stone King has been working with religious communities for 45 years. We provide a range of advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney from initial guidance notes and presentations, large or small, to one to one meetings. The advice we give is tailored to our clients’ needs to ensure that they have a complete understanding of the benefits of Lasting Powers of Attorney. All presentations and one to one meetings can take place within the community.

For example, we might spend an hour or so presenting to the community including answering questions and afterwards arrange one to one meetings to provide individual advice and take instructions. Otherwise, we may move straight to the one to one meetings dealing with any individual questions as they arise.

Lastly, our partner–led service is personable, discrete and we work to fixed fees agreed in advance.