At Foys, our Solicitors help elderly people plan for a future where both they and their loved ones are more secure and less stressed about what is to come.
As people get older, the questions that they ask about life tend to change. Often they start thinking about their own mortality, their financial security in retirement, the health of a spouse or a partner, the possible effects of illness and what will happen to their family after they’ve gone. For some, these concerns may become overwhelming.
To alleviate these concerns, it’s important to take steps and plan for the future so that your health and financial situation is secured – not just for your sake, but for the sake of your loved ones too. However, you needn’t approach these concerns alone. The elderly care legal experts at Foys Solicitors have experience in helping senior people plan, safeguard and protect their interests, and can provide invaluable legal advice and support to alleviate any concerns.
The areas that we cover include:
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) is a legal document where a person (known as the ‘donor’) appoints a person or people (known as an ‘Attorney’ or ‘Attorneys’) to make any health/welfare or property/financial-related decisions on the donor’s behalf should the donor be unable to do so. Often this person will be a family member or close friend, but they must be over the age of 18 and have the capacity to make decisions on your behalf. Our team of qualified Solicitors will help you prepare this document to your satisfaction.
In instances where a person is incapable of making an LPA (for example, if they are living with dementia) an application can be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to manage the person’s affairs. As with an LPA, deputyship can allow for both financial and health-related decisions to be made by the person making the application – usually a family member. We can help you apply to the Court of Protection to help safeguard your loved one’s health and wellbeing, as well as their financial assets.
A Trust is a legal arrangement whereby a person, a group of people or a company (known as a ‘Trustee’ or ‘Trustees’ respectively) manages the assets of a person who may be incapable of doing so or is too ill. A Trust allows the person in question to set the rules for this account, ensuring that the Trustees of their assets cannot misuse them. This money is typically used to help pay for future medical care, among other things. The Wills, Trusts & Probate team at Foys can advise you on such matters and help prepare the Trust Deeds and documents to make this possible.
Advice on planning for care home fees
Ongoing residential care can be incredibly expensive and may lead to a dramatic reduction of value in your estate. Foys Solicitors’ Protection of the Elderly team can help you prepare for these costs through planning advice regarding Trusts, LPA/Deputyship and Wills. This will not only give you peace of mind for the future, but it will also help safeguard your family’s future too.
Advice on protecting your estate
When it comes to protecting your estate and providing security to the future generations of your family, a lot of plates need to be spun. With relationships changing, new family members arriving and financial needs evolving, you need planning advice that is not only excellent but is adaptable to the changing dynamics of you and your family’s needs. At Foys, our legal advisors will provide you with bespoke, expert advice that is tailored to the ever-changing needs of you, your family and your estate.
Understanding the Lasting Power of Attorney
The aforementioned Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a crucial legal document for anyone over the UK’s retirement age. However, it’s also important to note that there are two distinct types of LPAs: A Property and Finance LPA, and a Health and Welfare LPA. In the majority of cases, a person will take out both types of LPA.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance
When a person has been appointed an LPA for property and finance, they will be able to make the following decisions related to the person’s (the ‘Donor’) property and financial affairs:
- The buying and selling of property.
- Claiming, and being able to use, allowances, pensions, benefits, etc.
- Investment of the Donor’s savings.
- Payment of Donor’s household expenses and mortgage or rent.
- Repayment of capital and interest on the Donor’s previous loans.
- Buying equipment, vehicle or additional aids.
- Maintaining, repairing and insuring Donor’s property.
- Making limited gifts when you would typically offer gifts (e.g. for birthdays, charitable organisations, weddings, anniversaries, friends and family, etc.).
- Payment of medical costs, private care and residential or nursing home fees.
They will also be able to gain access to, or receive, the following abilities:
- Operating the Donor’s bank account.
- Gain access to financial information related to the Donor.
- Deal with matters of tax.
- Receive other entitlements – such as income or inheritance.
The Attorney must keep their money separate from the Donor’s money as it cannot be used to benefit the Attorney.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
When a person has been appointed as an LPA for health and welfare, they will be able to make several decisions related to the Donor’s personal health and welfare needs, such as:
- Medical decisions and matters (such as consenting to treatments or arrangements).
- The Donor’s daily care (including what they wear and eat).
- The ability to choose who the Donor can be in contact with.
- Where the Donor lives and who they live with.
- The recreational, educational, social or leisure activities that a Donor should take part in.
- Assessment and provision of community care or support services to the Donor.
- Any complaints regarding the treatment and care of the Donor.
They will also be able to gain access to the following:
- Access to the Donor’s medical and legal records, as well as any other personal information.
- Dealing with the personal paperwork of the Donor and any correspondence.
The LPA is in effect once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). If the Donor is still considered to have the capacity to make decisions for themselves and has expressed that the Attorney cannot act until they lose this capacity, then the Attorney will not be able to act without the Donor’s consent.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Legal and financial planning
There are currently thought to be around 800,000 people affected by Dementia in the UK today. If you are concerned about the onset of Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or you have been diagnosed with the early stages of such a condition, it’s vital that you take positive action while you can. The issue of ‘mental capacity’, a legal term to represent if someone can still make certain decisions for themselves, is one that can have a significant effect on what sort of planning you can do – such as creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Through proper legal and financial planning, you can safeguard your future and the future of your family. The team at Foys can advise you on legal and financial planning in a comprehensive, jargon-free manner.
Plan for the future with Foys Solicitors
At Foys Solicitors, we tailor each of our services to the needs and wants of the individual. Our Solicitors and legal experts are here to advise you on the next steps you can take and can provide practical legal help to get you there.
We strongly support the rights of senior adults to determine their future and we believe that making such plans can be an empowering and satisfying experience for them. To help support this, we offer a FREE initial consultation service to get to know about you and what you are looking to safeguard. This process will also help you to understand the costs and process associated with the various financial and legal planning options that are available to you.
To get the right legal advice and support to safeguard your financial interests as well as your future health and wellbeing, simply get in touch with Foys Solicitors’ Protection of the Elderly team by phoning 01302 327136 today.
Please note that although we use the word ‘Solicitor’, your case could be carried out by a legal advisor, Legal Executive, or Paralegal depending on the nature of the case.