Kate Garraway’s heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid has been made even more complicated by the lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place. 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 Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), 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.
Greg Baker, Partner at Hegarty Solicitors, Peterborough and member of SFE, the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people commented, “We recommend that everyone considers who they would like to make decisions on their behalf should the worst happen. No one knows what is around the corner, but by appointing someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf in a formal document by creating an LPA, you can help ensure both you and your family have the legal protection needed in order to make critical decisions about your health, welfare and finances, at the time you need it most.
“There may be a time when you need someone to help you manage your property and financial affairs or your personal welfare. This could be due to age, ill-health or a loss of capacity and often may happen at a time when you are least expecting it. We would recommend that anyone considering creating an LPA should seek appropriate professional advice. Our experienced team can guide you through your options and ensure your affairs are managed according to your wishes.
Read our helpful free guide to creating an LPA:Download our free Guide to making an LPA