Important lessons from Kate Garraway feature

You may have seen the ITV documentary last week featuring Kate Garraway.

The heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid 19 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.

READ MORE: 3 walking routes in Reading to enjoy with a takeaway coffee

Research by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), shows that 65 per cent of us think our next-of-kin will be able to 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’s been a rise in the number of enquiries made about Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) during the pandemic, only 22 per cent of people in the UK actually have one.

To avoid this difficult kind of legal situation it’s 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 by the Office of the Public Guardian every year so it’s essential that you get your legal documents right.

Catherine Whitaker TEP, Solicitor at Legacy Law, Wokingham and member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people