Guest Blog: Josie Birnie, Head of Private Client Development at Labrums

2020 has been a year like no other, and one of my highlights of the last few months has been the latest series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! I, like many, have been glued to the screen this autumn, and we can only imagine the usual preparation for this popular TV show…

  1. Packing, including bikini/trunks, one luxury item, toothbrush, passport;
  2. Fake tan and personal grooming (a must before being seen by millions on a daily basis with no make-up artist);
  3. Clear diary (optimistically assuming you’ll make it to the end).

This year, thermal underwear will have had higher priority than swimwear, and no passports were needed. But whether in a castle or a jungle, do the celebs have making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) on their ‘must do’ list before taking the plunge?

Unable to deal with finances on a regular basis

Being without their mobile phones and laptops for the duration of their time in camp, they are unable to contact friends and family. This means that they can’t deal with their finances on a regular basis

Over the years, some of the celebrities may have planned ahead and already made Lasting Powers of Attorney for their finances and health. This means they will have appointed people they trust, such as close friends and / or family to deal with their financial decisions while they are away. The health Lasting Power of Attorney would also come in useful if the person became ill or were in an accident. In these circumstances, they would be unable to make or communicate decisions about their own care and an LPA would be vitally important.

Lasting Power of Attorney and dementia

Of course, we don’t need to go to the extremes of eating rice and beans for days and having no contact with the outside world, to be in need of the type of help a Lasting Power of Attorney can provide.

Losing mental capacity through dementia is the obvious example where a Lasting Power of Attorney enables someone you trust to officially make your decisions for you for the rest of your life, but Lasting Powers of Attorney can be useful in so many more ways – from temporary absences where you can delegate your financial paperwork to your attorney to sign, to choosing which family members get to speak on your behalf to the doctors taking care of you when you are ill.

Lasting Power of Attorney and coma

TV presenter and previous I’m A Celeb contestant, Kate Garraway, spoke openly on Good Morning Britain this year about the financial difficulties she had encountered during her husband’s lengthy hospitalization. She said:

“Like many things the car is entirely in Derek’s name, the insurance is in Derek’s name, a lot of our bank accounts […] which is making life very complicated because I can’t get access to things because legally, I haven’t got a power of attorney.”

Kate Garraway’s situation shows the usefulness of making a Lasting Power of Attorney when you are well, ‘just in case’. In circumstances such as Derek Garraway’s where he was in a coma for weeks and could not make any of his own decisions, Kate was not able to access any cash or financial information held in his sole name. In this instance, it was legally irrelevant that he remained alive with prospects of recovery and that Kate was is his wife.

If Derek Garraway had made a financial LPA before he became ill, appointing Kate as his attorney, Kate would have been able to use the LPA this year to deal with her husband’s accounts and other financial matters.

Arrange an LPA and protect your loved ones today

At Labrums, we have years of experience in drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney and getting them registered.

Contact us today and find out more about how our specialist legal team can help you.

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