The recent ITV documentary ‘Finding Derek’ followed Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway over the course of her husband’s long battle with Covid-19. Ex-political adviser, Derek Draper is still in hospital after being admitted with coronavirus symptoms last March.
This poignant documentary also highlighted how this heart-breaking situation has been made more complicated by the lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place. Kate has been unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. Furthermore, even though they are married, she did not have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection.
Unfortunately, it is a common assumption that most of us think our next-of-kin will be able to make medical and care decisions for us if we are no longer able to. However, unless a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is in place, this is not the case. – read our previous blogs on the different types of LPAs.
- Lasting power of attorney for Health and Welfare
- Lasting power of attorney for Property and Finances
There is also research to show that whilst there has been a recent rise in the number of enquiries regarding setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs) during the pandemic, only 22% of people in the UK actually have a properly drafted Lasting Power of Attorney set up.
To ensure your loved ones are not faced with this difficult legal situation, it is important to seek the advice of a specialist lawyer who is experienced in this area of law, who can provide the right expertise to guide you through these complex and difficult decisions. According to ‘Which’ 22,000 LPAs are rejected every year, so it is vital that your legal documents are drafted correctly.
Why should a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney be put in place?
- Keep control – By signing a Health and Welfare LPA you can appoint someone of your choosing to make medical and care decisions for you, and the power is taken away from other individuals such as; Social workers and Doctors.
- Protect your best interests – If you are unable to make medical and care decisions for yourself, your Attorney is there to act in your best interests, taking into account all that they know or you have communicated to them about your feelings, wishes and beliefs.
- Avoid Conflict – This is in the instance that there is a disagreement amongst family members.
- Save money and time – If you do not have a Health and Welfare LPA appointed, an application to the court of protection can be required to make decisions. This is an expensive and time-consuming process.
- Be prepared – By creating a legal document, you can have some certainty over what would happen to your healthcare should you reach a stage where you can no longer make independent decisions.
Our specialist private client team at Larcomes Solicitors can give you accessible, cost-effective and expert legal advice and guidance regarding all forms of Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection services. We will be happy to speak with you regarding all areas of LPA and the law surrounding the mental capacity act. We will work for you and your family to find the right solution tailored to your situation.
To discuss our services regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney, call our private client team on 023 9244 8100 or make an online enquiry.
Our experienced Solicitors will work with you to assess your individual needs and guide you through the best possible Health and Welfare options for you and your family.