The heart-breaking documentary on TV – Kate Garraway:Finding Derek – highlighted the struggles TV presenter Kate has faced since her husband, Derek Draper, was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in March 2020. Kate has openly spoken about the financial issues she has faced being unable to access accounts in Derek’s name without a power of attorney. The lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place made everything more complicated; Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. She didn’t even have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection.
Research by SFE (https://sfe.legal/) shows that 65% of us think our next-of-kin will make medical and care decisions for us if we are no longer able to. In reality, this isn’t the case unless a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is in place. Whilst there’s been a rise in the number of enquiries made about Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) during the pandemic, only 22% of people in the UK actually have one.
To avoid this difficult kind of legal situation it’s important to use a specialist lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law, and is trained to support people making these crucial, complex and difficult decisions. According to Which? 22,000 LPAs are rejected every year so it’s essential that you get your legal documents right.
At Owen Kenny, our Private client fee-earners are also members of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people. Contact us on 01243 532777 or email email@example.com
Useful reading: View our Lasting Powers of Attorney information booklet here