Having a Lasting Power of Attorney is essential

This article was written by Nick Latimir, Solicitor at RRL Wills, for further information on how our team at RRL Wills can assist with Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact our solicitors Nick Latimir or Charlotte Eden on 01872 276116 / 01736 339322 or nick.latimir@rrlwills.co.uk and  charlotte.eden@rrlwills.co.uk.

The TV presenter, Kate Garraway’s interview in the Sunday Times Magazine provided a harrowing example of the importance of planning for the future and, in particular, highlighted why putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place is essential for everyone.

Garraway’s husband, Derek Draper’s battle with COVID has been widely covered in the media. The virus has inflicted lasting damage on his body and he was placed in an induced coma in June of last year. As well as conveying the suffering her husband has been through during this process, Garraway also brought attention to the legal difficulties his incapacity has caused to the family.

Draper did not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and, despite being his spouse, Garraway found herself unable to access his bank or credit cards. She was unable to refinance their mortgage and, in one case, was charged nearly £900 for a replacement mobile handset when the family’s mobile phones broke.

Garraway remembered her and Draper discussing Lasting Powers of Attorney but could not recall why they had not followed through and completed the documents. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney for her husband, she is now faced with the prospect of making an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as Draper’s deputy. This is a costly and lengthy process and Draper will need to be assessed to determine whether he lacks capacity to manage his affairs.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables an individual or individuals chosen by you to deal with your affairs if you become unable to do so at some point in the future. Putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place will at least alleviate some of the stress and upset that your family faces in the event of incapacity and will ensure the smooth running of your finances.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

Property and Financial Affairs

In the event that you are unable to look after your finances due to ill health, accident or incapacity, your chosen attorney can step into your shoes and can deal with, for example, the running of your bank account, management of your investments and buying and selling of property.

Health and Welfare

This document would enable your chosen attorney to make decisions on your behalf, if you are unable to do so, regarding issues which impact upon your medical condition and personal welfare.

We have produced some common Q & As regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney which you may find useful: https://bit.ly/3d1dAA8