As Covid cases rise, protect yourself with an LPA

With the endurance of a second national lockdown, our hearts go out to those who are currently, or have previously, faced a battle with this terrible virus. As cases continue to rise, now is more important than ever to make sure loved ones are looked after - beyond just physical healthcare.

We are all perhaps familiar with Good Morning Britain presenter, Kate Garraway’s story as her husband continues to recover from Covid-19. In an unfortunate turn of events, the couple’s car was stolen from outside their property a few days ago, according to a recent newspaper report.

The problem is, as Kate says in the article, the car is entirely in her husband’s name, including insurance, so she wasn’t able to sort out anything to do with the theft of the vehicle regardless of the fact her husband is incapacitated

What’s more, she says, there are a lot of financial outgoings from her husband’s bank account, which further complicates any day to day matters as she is unable to access the account, making life extremely complicated.

There is a common misconception that one’s spouse/civil partner will have automatic right in law to take over the affairs of the incapacitated spouse/civil partner. Sadly, the law does not permit this.

If only she’d got Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). With this document, she would have had no trouble accessing anything belonging to her husband, as she would have had the legal right to act on his behalf. Of course, Kate could apply for Deputyship to the Court of Protection - but that could take up to 6 months to put in place.

Whilst this is not just a Covid-related issue, any long-term illness or sudden accident that could leave us unable to deal with any financial affairs can be extremely emotional and frustrating. Suddenly, as people are dealing with long-term sickness due to Covid, more are coming to realise that having that all-important access to be able to sort financial affairs just helps to alleviate any further heartache.

If you would like some further advice relating to your own LPA or that of a family member, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

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