Later life planning
It is never too early to plan for your and your family’s future, as well as for loved ones who are elderly or vulnerable.
Working with you and your family
As you reach certain life stages, such as retirement, it is only natural to want to organise your affairs. You may want to consider how the wealth that you have built up can possibly be protected and handed down to your loved ones. You might also be thinking about how to ensure someone whom you trust can make decisions on your behalf, in the event that you might not be able to make those decisions yourself in later years.
If you have an elderly parent, friend or relative who needs support with later life planning, whether that be in relation to managing their financial affairs, planning for the introduction of care, looking at wealth and succession issues, or making health related decisions, our specialist later life lawyers can advise in connection with:
We understand that these issues can arise at a time which is emotionally testing; getting expert advice and putting in place suitable arrangements can help to avoid further unnecessary upset and confusion that can either arise during that person’s lifetime if they are elderly or vulnerable, lack the capacity to make decisions, or after their death. We endeavour to guide you through these matters and deal with them sensitively.
Key areas to consider include:
Having a will, making sure your wishes are known
- Advance healthcare directive (living wills)
- Making a will, questions to consider
- Important documents relating to your will
- Protecting disabled and vulnerable children
- What happens if I don’t make a will?
- Choosing executors
- What do executors do?
- Leaving a gift in your will
- Informing your family of your will or LPA.
Powers of Attorney
- Lasting Power of Attorney - Property and Affairs
- Lasting Power of Attorney - Health and Welfare
- Registration of Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Deed of Revocation - cancel an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney
- Advising lay attorneys on their duties and responsibilities.
Court of Protection
- Cancelling a registered Enduring Power of Attorney
- The Office of the Public Guardian and its role
- Advising lay deputies on their duties and responsibilities
- Support on Dementia in the workplace
Dementia and the rights of carers in the workplace
Dementia in the Workplace – What to do as an employee if you are diagnosed with dementia?
Financing and funding
- Planning and paying for a funeral
- Private equity release
- Care funding
- NHS Continuing healthcare funding
- Community Care Advice
- Advice on Welfare Benefits
- Financing options e.g. Equity release
- Financial support available
- Protection against financial abuse, scams and fraud
- Divorce in later life.
- Probate – what to do when someone dies
- Inheritance Tax (IHT)
- Dealing with an estate
- Dying without a will
- Unhappy beneficiaries
- Contentious probate – our specialist team deals with a huge range of disputes for when things don’t turn out quite the way that was intended. For example, a child is disinherited from their parent’s estate, the executors aren’t fulfilling their duties, or there is concern that the person making their will did not understand what they were doing.
Frequently asked questions
When should I consider planning for later life?
The earlier the better! However, there are often key life events that prompt people to start planning ahead, these include everything from buying your first home or becoming a parent, to approaching retirement, selling your business, becoming a grandparent, downsizing a property or considering introducing care at home.
What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is a court based in London which was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.It has the authority to make decisions about property and financial affairs, and the personal welfare of people who do not have the capacity to make those decisions for themselves.
The Court can exercise its authority by making an order about a specific issue, or by delegating authority to make decisions to another person i.e. a deputy. The Court will deal with any matters that are outside the scope of the deputy’s authority. It can appoint a new deputy or discharge an existing one if the person regains capacity.
We have one of the largest specialist Court of Protection teams in the country, they work alongside our band one ranked private client departments to offer a unique combination of expertise and resources to deal with a range of work from planning ahead to implementing complex care regimes for clients in their own home.
What is an LPA and why have one?
An LPA is a legal document which allows you (the donor) to appoint someone you trust (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf, including the circumstances where you lack capacity to do so. There are two types of LPA: Property and financial affairs or Health and welfare.
Under a property and financial affairs LPA, your attorneys can make decisions on your behalf such as buying and selling property, opening and closing bank accounts, dealing with your investments, managing your day to day finances, and claiming benefits and pensions. This type of LPA can be used at any time, even if you still have capacity. In those circumstances, it should be used by your attorneys with your consent.
A health and welfare LPA can only be used if you have lost capacity. It enables your attorneys to make decisions about where you should live, your day to day care to give consent to or refuse medical treatment on your behalf.
You can make one type of LPA and not the other. Ensuring an LPA is in place will mean that decisions can be made quickly and by someone you trust if you ever lose capacity. By thinking ahead regarding your finances or health and welfare, you can appoint someone whom you trust now to make decisions about your care or money in the future, should you lose the ability to make those decisions yourself.
What happens if someone loses capacity but has not made an LPA?
An application can be made to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed. Deputyship applications will often be made by relatives or close friends but can also be made by professionals, such as a solicitor. Again, it is possible to appoint property and affairs deputies and health and welfare deputies. However, the first type is much more common as decisions cannot be taken on someone else’s behalf about their property and financial affairs without formal authority in the form of an LPA or deputyship.
You can read more here; Frequently asked questions – Court of Protection
What type of clients do you work with?
Our clients include those with high net worth estates, family businesses, adults with learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries and elderly or vulnerable clients living with dementia as well as their relatives and carers.
Please see information sheets: Elderly and Vulnerable clients, Registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney and The role of an Attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Get in touch
We will be able to provide initial advice on the services that we are able to offer you, once you have made your enquiry.
We realise that many of the legal issues that clients contact us for advice on are very personal and sensitive in nature. We pride ourselves in offering a friendly, supportive and efficient service to make the experience as easy as possible for our client.
The team has many years of experience and includes a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a national organisation of lawyers committed to providing and promoting high quality legal services for older people, their family and carers. Louise Mathias-Williams and Simon Mitchell are both accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).
For further information or a no obligation meeting, please contact Louise Mathias-Williams on 01892 701161 or Carrie Bryce on 01892 701272.