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Why Kate Garraway is unable to make decisions for Derek

View profile for Leah Woodnott
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Why Kate Garraway is unable to make decisions for Derek

Kate Garraway’s situation regarding her husband, Derek Draper, and his battle with COVID-19 has hit the headlines several times over the past year. 

Derek has been in hospital struggling with the long-term effects of COVID-19 for over a year. Kate has pledged for families to consider their legal affairs so that they are protected and not in the same predicament the Garraway family find themselves in.

Unfortunately, prior to contracting COVID-19, Derek did not have in place lasting powers of attorneys (“LPAs”) appointing attorneys to look after both his health and welfare and property and financial affairs. This meant that no-one had the legal authority to act on his behalf during his illness.  

What about your next of kin?

Many people wrongly assume that their next of kin automatically has the right to deal with their affairs, but unfortunately this just is not the case. 

Derek remains in a state of minimal consciousness after coming out of a coma earlier in the year, he is still not in a position to enter into LPAs due to capacity issues. This means that the Garraway family do not have access to Derek’s finances to help pay bills and they cannot make any decisions regarding his health care needs.

The Metro stated that Kate and Derek knew the importance of lasting powers of attorneys prior to his illness and quoted Kate stating the following:

“We had a whole conversation and Derek said that we have to appoint a power of attorney in case anything happens.

He said I’d be his and I’m sure he made some kind of joke, saying well, you are not being mine…so I know we had that conversation. But it is not logged anywhere. Or if it is, I cannot find it. “

If Derek had put in place LPAs, then Kate would have been able to access funds to pay their mortgage and more importantly made decisions regarding Derek’s treatment in hospital.

Kate’s story highlights the importance that you are never too young to put in place LPAs and that if you do so, you will give your family peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order.

If you would like to discuss putting in place lasting powers of attorneys for your health and welfare and/or property and financial affairs then please contact one of our LPA specialists.  

I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217609 or leah.woodnott@birkettlong.co.uk.

 

What is an LPA?

A LPA is made on a special form and is a very powerful document which allows someone you appoint to make financial and health decisions on your behalf. You can also make a LPA to deal with Health and Care issues.

 

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