Saturday, 18 September 2021
THE heart-breaking impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been publicly apparent for journalist Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek was diagnosed with covid-19 in March 2020 and still needs round-the-clock medical care.
During an already stressful time, Kate has had to juggle the needs of her family with managing their finances. This was made more difficult as Derek was often the named person on the bills, investments, bank, and insurance policies.
Without a lasting power of attorney (LPA) it has been a very complicated for Kate to sort out financial matters and, in fact, it is impossible to access investments in someone’s sole name without it.
If an LPA for property and finances is not in place, it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy. However, this is a more expensive and lengthy process. It also requires the vulnerable person to have lost their ability to make decisions for themselves.
In Derek’s case, this test for mental capacity was borderline because he is still being assessed to understand the effect covid-19 had on his cognitive health.
Without a heath and welfare LPA, Kate did not have a legal right to access Derek’s medical notes due to data protection. Only in exceptional circumstances will a deputyship for health and welfare be granted by the Court.
Like any insurance policy, whilst we all hope an LPA will never be required. But, if the worst happens, your loved ones will have the necessary authority to deal with your finances and make decisions about the care you should receive. Law firm THP Solicitors, also known as The Head Partnership, which has an office in Bell Street, Henley, can help you create, register, or alter lasting power of attorney. For more information, call (01491) 570900.
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