Nicola Hall

Senior Associate Solicitor

DATE PUBLISHED: 24 Mar 2021 LAST UPDATED: 24 Mar 2021

Why Lasting Powers of Attorney are so important

Many of you will have seen on TV Kate Garraway’s heartbreaking story of her husband Derek’s year long battle with Covid-19 and the programme highlighted the difficulties Kate faced by not having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place to manage Derek’s affairs.  Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage and she didn’t even have the legal right to access Derek’s medical notes due to data protection restrictions because he had not done a Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney.

Research by Solicitors for the Elderly shows that 65% of people think our next of kin will automatically be able to make medical and care decisions for us if we are unable to do so.  However, unless a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is in place, this will not be the case.

Whilst there has been a rise in the number of enquiries made about the two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney during the pandemic, only 22% of people actually have one. Kate Garraway’s situation has shown that the need for Lasting Powers of Attorney can arise at any age and, to avoid a difficult situation like this, it is important to ensure that the correct documentation is in place.

Accordingly to Which? 22,000 Lasting Powers of Attorney are rejected every year, so it is essential that you get your legal documents right.  We have a team of lawyers experienced in this area of law and are trained to support people making these crucial, complex and difficult decisions. If you require any advice in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact Nicola Hall from our Wills, Trusts & Probate department on nicola.hall@ellisjones.co.uk or 01202 057680.

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