Learning from Kate Garraway's heart-breaking story
I wanted to bring your attention to TV presenter and journalist, Kate Garraway’s heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid-19. Kate’s story 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 SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), 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.
As a partner at Acorn Solicitors in Taunton and Street and a member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), I specialise in helping families through what can be a complicated procedure, depending on circumstances, and clearly Kate’s story brings home the harsh reality of how difficult it can be. We would urge everyone, regardless of age to consider how this may impact on them in the future. What will it mean to you if a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is not in place and you fall ill, as did Kate’s husband at the relatively young age of 52?
If you need any advice or this sort, please do give us a call – we will do our best to help you.