Lasting Power of Attorney and why it is important

The severe and lengthy Covid-19 illness of Derek Draper has received heavy coverage in the media.

The recent documentary “Kate Garraway: Finding Derek” showed how Derek’s wife, TV presenter, Kate Garraway and their two young children, Darcey and Billy, were coping at home.

Kate has also spoken about the legal situation as Derek had not made a Lasting Power of Attorney in respect of his property and financial affairs or his health and Welfare.

My colleagues, Felicity John and Tim Adams, set out the importance of making a Lasting Power of Attorney in their blog “Don’t wait to make a Lasting Powers of Attorney”. Derek and Kate would have found things a lot easier if they had taken this advice.

In an article in the Times, Kate indicated some of the issues that had arisen, such as dealing with the lease on Derek’s offices, which was up for renewal, the need to re-mortgage the house and even being able to change the mobile ‘phone provider. Being ill is an expensive business and the house had to be adapted so that Derek could come home in a wheelchair.

Derek was in a coma for almost a year. Decisions had to be made about his health and medical treatment he did or did not receive. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare Kate could not even see Derek’s medical records.

While in a coma Derek was unable to participate in decisions about his health and care. We do not know what discussions took place between the medical team and Kate but the presence of an LPA Health and Welfare authorising Kate or another chosen family member or trusted friend, would have made an already difficult situation easier.

None of us know when illness or accident will strike. It is never too early to make Lasting Powers of Attorney, but it can be too late. Making LPAs can give you peace of mind for the future.

If you would like to discuss making an LPA, contact our solicitors today.

For more information about powers of attorney, see here.