The importance of Powers of Attorney – the Heather Bateman story

The importance of Powers of Attorney – the Heather Bateman story

In September 2003, Heather Bateman’s husband Michael was knocked down by a car on a country road, an accident which left him in a coma. Michael’s wages paid the household bills but as Heather tried to manage the family finances, she quickly found that she wasn’t allowed access to her husband’s money.

Had they put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, Heather would have been allowed to manage her husband’s affairs but without these crucial documents she was forced to turn to the Court of Protection, the court set up to protect the assets of vulnerable people. Heather eventually got permission to manage Michael’s finances but had to follow the Court’s strict rules, including only being able to write a cheque for up to £500 without getting special permission. She also faced a series of fees to be paid to the court which amounted to more than £3000 over the next few years. Over this period, dealing with the Court of Protection caused Heather much grief, anger and frustration.

The only way to avoid such an awful experience is to arrange Lasting Powers of Attorney, which allow your ‘attorney’ – a person chosen by yourself – to handle your affairs when you yourself cannot. This could have saved Heather significant costs and a great deal of stress.

After three years, Michael died, releasing Heather from having to deal with the Court. ‘I wouldn’t want anybody to go through that if they could avoid it,’ said Heather on the BBC’s The One Show in 2015.

MVL Wills and Trusts of Battle, East Sussex, is a specialist in estate planning and the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Contact estate planning advisor Andrew Mathias for a free consultation at our offices or in the comfort of your own home. Call or email for more information on 01424 577070 or [email protected].

Take a look at this article in the Daily Mail:

or view the BBC One Show video: