Jo Jones, Partner and head of Private Client team
In her recent interview, the ITV presenter, Kate Garraway revealed the financial struggles she has faced since her husband contracted Covid19 and was placed into a coma to help his chances of recovery. Kate talked about the legal difficulties in accessing joint funds, trying to remortgage their jointly owned property and she had even been unable to replace their family mobile phones because the contracts are in Derek’s name. Kate is also unable to access her husband’s medical notes due to data protection.
Kate admitted that they had previously talked about putting Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place but had not got round to it. A LPA is a legal document that allows a person to appoint people they know and trust to be able to deal with their finances or health decisions, should they no longer be able to do so themselves due to lack of capacity. Understandably, many people think that there is an automatic right that the spouse can deal with matters on their behalf, however, this is not the case and Kate’s situation clearly demonstrates this.
Lack of capacity is often associated with dementia and old age, but can occur at any time due to accident or illness. Without LPAs in place, an application must be made to the Court of Protection to be appointed as Deputy, which is a time-consuming and costly process.
Kate’s case highlights the importance of having both LPAs and an up to date Will. These documents are fairly straightforward to put in place and would greatly assist loved ones should the worst happen.
For more information or to arrange an appointment contact our team on 01484 821 300.