Industry insight: commentary on the importance of lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) following Kate Garraway documentary ‘Finding Derek’

Many of you will have seen the ITV documentary this week featuring Kate Garraway.  Her husband Derek has been in hospital since March 2020 battling COVID-19.

It was difficult viewing.  She gave open and honest access to her world, which allowed us to see her struggle through grief, fear and stress.  Sometimes documentaries feel self-indulgent, designed to raise the profile of the protagonist.  But this was different.  It felt real.  It felt like she wanted those of us who are privileged enough not to have been directly affected by COVID-19 to see what the reality is.  The reality was heart-breaking.

Kate has not been shy in talking about the legal difficulties she has faced while Derek has been unwell.  These have impacted on her in two ways – in relation to their financial affairs and Derek’s health decisions.  All because they had not made lasting powers of attorney (LPAs).

Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. She didn’t even have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection.

Research by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), shows that 65% of us think our next-of-kin will be able to make medical and care decisions for us if we are no longer able to.  In reality, this isn’t the case unless a Health & Welfare LPA is in place.

Whilst there’s been a rise in the number of enquiries made about LPAs during the pandemic, only 22% of people in the UK actually have one.

We all hope that we will not need an LPA.  We hope that this sad story won’t happen to us.  But if it does, having the right protection in place just makes life so much easier.

Our approach has always been to hope for the best but plan for the worst.  Then you have all bases covered.

To avoid this difficult kind of legal situation it’s important to use a specialist lawyer who is experienced in this area of law, and is trained to support people making these crucial, complex and difficult decisions. According to ‘Which?’ 22,000 LPAs are rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian for registration every year so it’s essential that you get your legal documents right.

Let us know if we can help you.  Call us on 0118 40 50 131 or contact us by email on


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