Denise Woodward

Denise Woodward

We are sad to announce the death of Denise Woodward, Consultant Solicitor, on 22nd April 2023.

Denise was a valued member of our Family Law Team and a hugely popular member of staff. Denise will be sorely missed by all her work colleagues and the legal fraternity in Chester and beyond.

Darlene Storrar, Managing Partner, says:

"Denise was an excellent Family Law Solicitor and a highly valued member of our team. Denise was dedicated to her work and her many clients and we will miss her enormously. Denise was always cheerful and engaging. Our thoughts are with her large supportive family at this very sad time."

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Lasting Powers Of Attorney

4 May, 2023

BBC breakfast news this week discussed the importance of making Lasting Powers of attorney.

More and more people are living longer in today’s society. How can you safeguard your affairs in the event of receiving a diagnosis like dementia or if you become temporarily incapacitated? Sadly, solicitors are often asked this question when it is already too late. It is not possible to act on instructions if a person’s condition has advanced to a point where they are unable to manage their own affairs and sign legal documents. 

A Will appoints executors to manage your affairs when you die. You should consider what would happen if you are unable to manage your affairs whilst you are alive. Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) appoint people, of your choosing, to make decisions for you and safeguard your affairs during your lifetime, if you need assistance. Like a Will, LPAs can only be made if you have the mental capacity to understand and sign that legal document. There are two types of LPA. One covers your finances and property and the other covers health, medical and welfare decisions. 

If you lose the ability to manage your own affairs and have not made an LPA, the only alternative is for someone to make a Court application which is a costly and time consuming process at what will already be a stressful time. This may not be a person you would have chosen. LPA’s therefore must be made in advance, at a time when you don’t actually need them. If you do this, you can have peace of mind that the LPA documents are ready to be used should you need help in the future. For example, the LPA for Health & Welfare, once properly registered, can be added to your GP and hospital records. At a time of potential distress, knowing a loved ones wishes regarding medical or care treatment, and having the legal power to implement those wishes, can make a difficult situation a little less distressing. 

It is important to seek specialist advice in relation to the issue of mental capacity and whether an individual can sign a legal document such as an LPA. It can often take up to two years for a person to be properly diagnosed with dementia and LPAs could be challenged if doubts arise about the person’s capacity at the time of signing the LPA. A suitable person (for example a solicitor or medical practitioner) should be involved in the LPA making process in these situations. With modern, often complex, family dynamics it has never been more important to consider making LPAs now to formalise your choice of attorney should you need assistance to manage your affairs in the future. 

For further information about Lasting Powers of Attorney and Wills please contact Gill Knowles on 01244 400567 or email: gillian.knowles@storrarcowdry.co.uk

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