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The legal protections we should all have in place

View profile for Belinda-Jane Poulter
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The documentary “Kate Garraway: Finding Derek” aired this week and highlighted the struggles TV presenter Kate has faced since her husband, Derek Draper, was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in March 2020. Kate has openly spoken about the financial issues she has faced being unable to access accounts in Derek’s name without a power of attorney.

Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) have said “Kate Garraway’s heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid has been made even more complicated by the lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place.

Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. She didn’t even have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection.”

Belinda-Jane Poulter, Director and Associate Member of SFE said “Research by SFE, shows that 65% of us think our next-of-kin will make medical and care decisions for us if we are no longer able to. In reality, this isn’t the case unless a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is in place. Whilst there has been a rise in the number of enquiries made about Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) during the pandemic, only 22% of people in the UK actually have one.

To avoid this difficult kind of legal situation it is important to use a specialist lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law, and is trained to support people making these crucial, complex and difficult decisions. According to Which? 22,000 LPAs are rejected every year so it’s essential that you get your legal documents right.” 

Belinda-Jane Poulter, Sharon Richardson in York and Bethany Foster in Pickering for Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors are all accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly, the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people.

They can be contacted for specialist impartial advice and support to you and act in your best interest.

Contact Belinda or Sharon on 01904 624185 and Bethany on 01751 472121.