Coronation Street storyline shows need for people to use a lasting power of attorney to plan what happens to their health and money if they lose capacity.
A storyline in this week’s primetime soap Coronation Street illustrates the need for greater knowledge of how a lasting power of attorney works, says the global professional membership body STEP.
The character Audrey Roberts is under pressure from her family, particularly her grandson David, who mistakenly think that they can somehow ‘use power of attorney’ to change her will. Emily Deane TEP, Technical Counsel and Head of Government Affairs at STEP, has been briefing Coronation Street scriptwriters about the different forms of power of attorney and what their uses are.
Emily says: ‘It has been a privilege to work with the Coronation Street team on this storyline. It shows millions of people how important good legal advice is for everyone, including ordinary people like Audrey.
‘There are different types of power of attorney. Having a lasting power of attorney in place means that a trusted family member of friend can make decisions about your health or finances if you lose capacity and cannot decide for yourself.
‘David is not happy with Audrey’s will and has issues with the organisation she has chosen to bequeath money to. None of us like to think about being incapable of deciding for ourselves about our money or health. However, as Audrey has found recently, our personal circumstances can change very quickly.
‘We would advise anyone who is thinking about making a will, a lasting power of attorney, or setting up a trust to get good advice from a trusted professional. This advice can help families think through their decisions and avoid unnecessary distress.’