People tend to write or update their wills when they get married or set up home together; gain additional family members; acquire significant assets, such as buying a home; just before they go on holiday and to save tax. No matter what generation you belong to, QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright are here to help you plan your personal affairs. Our Private Client Department deals with a range of services, including giving advice on elderly care, particularly at sensitive times. Parkinson Wright is a member of the National Association of Specialist Practitioners in Legal Services for the Elderly. QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright is a member of the Certainty National Registry of Wills.
The loss of a loved one is frequently a time of stress and anxiety, and people are often confused as to how they should deal with the estate. QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright offer a sympathetic and caring service to the bereaved and will deal with all aspects of estate administration. We will obtain a grant of probate and if desired will provide advice on taxation to beneficiaries of the Will.
There are various types of trusts. We can discuss and advise you on the appropriate trust to suit your requirements taking into account the current tax laws and other financial circumstances.
Tax planning is sometimes thought of as just saving inheritance tax (IHT) but you may have an opportunity to mitigate the impact of other taxes.
IHT laws allow for assets to be given as gifts (within certain parameters which are frequently changed) either direct to individuals or into trusts.
After a detailed review of your aims and your financial and family circumstances, we can advise you on the best way to save as much tax as possible.
As part of your estate planning you may wish to consider methods of converting some of the value of your home into cash which you can spend or give away to family members.Equity Release is now a growing and progressive market, which for you, the potential client, ensures a wider and much more competitive range of products to suit individual needs. Equity Release products are generally aimed at people over 55 who own their own home, which is often the stage in life where financial freedom is most valued. Selling your home to downsize in the current property market may prove challenging, whereas an Equity Release could release the money in your home yet still give you the right to stay in your home for life.
Our team have experience in advising both executors and beneficiaries about claims involving wills and inheritances. These include bringing claims against estates (and advising executors about defending claims) for adequate financial provision and challenges to Wills.
A living will is a document in which the person signing it requests that certain medical treatment should, or should not, be given in a particular situation, if he/she is not able to consent or refuse such treatment at the time.
QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright solicitors have experience in preparing these and once prepared we recommend that a copy of your living will is sent to your doctor for placing with your medical records.
Lasting Powers of attorney (“LPAs”) are signed whilst the donor has mental capacity to manage his or her affairs, but will continue to be valid even if the donor loses mental capacity.
There are two types of LPA – one dealing only with property and affairs, and the other dealing only with the personal welfare of the donor (i.e. matters relating to the donor’s medical treatment – and where the donor should live).
If you have not made an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, and do become mentally unable to manage your affairs, an application can be made (usually, but not always, by a family member) to the Court of Protection, for that person to be appointed as your “deputy”, to manage your affairs. This is a much more complicated method of proceeding than signing an LPA. We can help with the application, but it generally takes much longer to complete this process, at the very time when some urgent action may be needed. It is usually also more costly, and will mean the Court of Protection is actively involved in your affairs from then on.
The role of the Court of Protection (COP) is to help people who are mentally incapable of making their own decisions; it does this by making decisions for them. The COP can give these powers to someone else if there is a need for decisions to be made on an on-going basis and this person is known as a Deputy.
It is possible to make applications to the COP for the management of property and financial decisions as well as health and welfare. It is also possible to make an application to the COP for a Statutory Will to be executed on behalf of the person lacking capacity to ensure on death that the individual’s assets pass in accordance with their wishes and best interests.
The powers of a Deputy are often restricted and as such it is important to ensure that the Order granted by the COP covers everything that is required. Special permissions for gifts or disposal of certain assets are often required by way of a subsequent application.
The role of a Deputy can be quite an onerous one and therefore it is possible to appoint a professional Deputy. Jean Newton, Partner and Head of Private Client has many years’ experience acting as both a professional Deputy and Attorney.
With some 130,000 people entering residential and nursing care every year in is essential that individuals and their families receive good advice especially due to recent changes in the law relating to care in the form of the Care Act 2014.
We are able to provide advice on:
- Care in your own home
- Funding of care i.e. self funding, local authority funding and NHS continuing healthcare
- Care home contracts
- Local authority obligations
- Deferred payment schemes
- Rules relating to deprivation of assets
Placing an elderly relative into a care home can be a complex process and we would advise you to seek legal guidance before agreeing to do so. If you have been told that an elderly relative needs to go into a care home and that you or another member of your family must pay a top up fee in order to pay the Care Fees we recommend you get some advice before agreeing. We offer an Ask the Legal Expert service for £99.
Our specialist lawyers will be able to confirm whether the top up must be paid or if there are alternative options available to you. Contact us on 01905 721600 to book an Ask the Legal Expert appointment.