In the recent ITV documentary “Finding Derek”, Kate Garroway shares her experience of her husband’s illness. Derek is in hospital with COVID 19, unable to speak or move, and has just woken up from an induced coma, although the long-term prognosis is unknown. Derek may never regain his full mental capacity.
Kate is coping day to day, looking after the children, and not knowing what the future holds for the family. At the beginning of the programme, Derek has been in hospital for five months, when Kate makes the decision to return to work. By the end, he has been in hospital for over a year, and can mouth words without sound. Kate is renovating their home so that it will be accessible for Derek when he returns home.
But among all of the other heartbreak, she has to deal with the lack of legal protection that she and Derek had in place. Throughout Derek’s illness, Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. She did not even have the legal right to see his medical notes.
These issues would have been avoided if Kate and Derek had put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney before he became ill.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Affairs allows you to plan in advance who would manage your money if you are unable to do so yourself.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare allows you to name who you would trust to speak for you regarding medical decisions if you were unable to do so yourself.
Putting these documents in place is a simple process. My name is Amanda Harris LLB (Hons) MSWW and I have ten years’ experience of the process.