Incapacity and Lasting Powers of Attorney in light of Finding Derek

25th March 2021

Kate Garraway’s documentary ‘Finding Derek’, which aired on Tuesday 23 March 2021, gave a harrowing insight into the detrimental impact of long-term COVID. Kate is well-known as a presenter on ITV’s flagship breakfast programme ‘Good Morning Britain’.

Derek Draper, Kate Garraway’s husband, has been suffering from COVID since March 2020 and his battle remains ongoing in hospital. The documentary cast a light on the various mental and physical impacts that COVID has had on Derek and others like him who have suffered with the disease.

Finding Derek particularly drew on Kate Garraway’s experience caring for and managing the finances of someone who has lost capacity while also bringing up school-age children on her own. Kate Garraway also touched on the future impact of her husband’s illness once he is out of hospital and the reality of adjusting their family home and becoming a full-time carer.

To make matters more complicated in what was an already an exhausting and stressful time, Kate discovered that banks and insurance companies would not let her deal with Derek’s affairs without a Lasting Power of Attorney.

The need for Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) allow you to give someone legal authority to act on your behalf to deal with financial or personal affairs. A crucial element of LPAs, is the attorneys can act immediately after the document has been registered and continue to be valid when the donor has lost capacity. LPAs offer a safeguard for the unforeseen circumstances that can happen in life, and can be proactively registered even if there is no immediate requirement.

There are two types of LPA: Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Personal Welfare.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

Property and Financial Affairs LPA will enable your attorneys to make decisions on your behalf about how  your affairs are managed if you lack the physical and/or mental capacity to do so yourself. Decisions include those relating to the sale of a house or the operation of a bank account.

Under the Health and Welfare LPA

Under the Health and Welfare LPA, your attorneys will also be able to make decisions with regard to your health and welfare should you ever be unable to make those decisions yourself, including the health treatment that will be given.

How can we help?

Finding Derek highlights the importance of taking the steps to ensure that someone you trust is able to manage your affairs on your behalf if needed. The coverage of Kate’s difficulties in getting banks to allow her to manage Derek’s affairs during his battle with COVID has already prompted two clients to come to us independently to discuss putting LPAs in place for them and their partners.

If you would like to know more about Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact us. Blake Morgan has a team of specialist and experienced successional and tax advisors that can assist you.

This article has been co-written by Andrew Lane and Eleanor Catling.

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