The nightmare of not having a power of attorney when needed

Recently, Kate Garraway of ITV Good Morning Britain fame, has shone a spotlight on the importance of making a power of attorney.

She has talked very movingly about the terrible experience she has had, and is still having, while her husband was in a coma. He has

been in hospital suffering from Covid-19 for many weeks and she was completely unable to access his bank accounts or deal with any

finances on his behalf. He had not made a Lasting Power of Attorney.   Her remedy will be an application to the Court of Protection

and it can be up to a year before an appointment to be her husband’s deputy is made.


Do not resuscitate

In 2011 it was reported in the Daily Mail that an 81 year old mother and grandmother who was determined that she should not be resuscitated paid £5 and had “DO NOT RESUSCITATE” tattooed on her chest. Having a good sense of humour she also had P.T.O tattooed on her shoulder in case she should be found face down! A novel idea perhaps, but not legally binding. Better to think about making a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

Are you a Sole Trader with your own business?

If you have your own business and were ill or in hospital who could keep the work going and ensure that bills and staff were paid? It is possible to make a lasting power of attorney specifically for your business to ensure that someone you trust can access funds and sign cheques etc.

Once appointed, can you remove an attorney?

Clients sometimes ask whether they can remove an attorney that they chose when the deed was registered but who is now, for whatever reason, unsuitable. The answer is that, yes, you can by making a “deed of partial revocation”. The only caveat is that you could only do this if you still had capacity.

If anyone, be it another attorney or one of your friends or relatives have real concerns about an attorney, they can contact the Office of the Public Guardian, who will investigate, and can remove the attorney. This is the protection provided by having the power of attorney registered.

A Quote from Roger Ramsden, former Chief Executive Officer of Saga

“Obtaining a lasting power of Attorney saves families an enormous amount of heartache when a loved on becomes incapacitated. For the individual who has granted a lasting power of attorney it also puts their mind at rest that they will have someone they trust acting on their behalf if the worst happens. Getting the right advice and support is key.”