10th May 2021
We have all followed the heart-breaking story of broadcaster Kate Garraway and her husband Derek Draper’s fight with Covid-19, which one year on still sees him battling the after-effects of the illness.
It is well-documented the struggle that Kate has faced with the responsibility of trying to help her husband, who spent many months in a coma, as well as caring for their children and working.
But Kate has also had to deal with other stressful issues, including the household finances, which were largely in her husband’s name. And because there was no Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place, she had been unable to access bank accounts, insurance policies, assets and other bills, despite being married.
The unpredictable nature of such tragic events means many people, especially younger couples, don’t consider putting measures in place to ensure their spouse has access to their finances if needed.
It is possible to work around this by applying to the Court of Protection to be appointed as Deputy for Health and Welfare, but this is a very long, expensive and complicated process during an already very difficult time. It also requires a test of the vulnerable person’s mental capacity, which isn’t always cut and dried and in Derek’s case certainly isn’t.
Much easier to plan ahead and put in place an LPA so that either of you could handle each other’s affairs.
So, what exactly is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Simply, it allows you appoint someone you trust to take care of your health and wellbeing as well as finances when you become unable to.
There are two types: