You may recently have seen Kate Garraway’s heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid. The situation 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 did not even have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection.
Research by 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 is not the case unless a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is in place. Whilst there has 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 is 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 is essential that you get your legal documents right.
Marie Granby, Solicitor at Maxwell Hodge, Heswall and member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people.