Later Life and The Various Bodies You Might Encounter

In later life, there are various different bodies that you are much more likely to encounter. If the Official Solicitor is appointed, they will be appointed on behalf of your loved one, rather than you, but you will need to liaise and negotiate with them, and our solicitors can assist you with this. The Official Solicitor’s Office is an independent government body. The Court of Protection refers matters to the Official Solicitor’s Office and, within the organisation, a suitable solicitor is chosen and appointed to act on behalf of your loved one. If the appointment of the Official Solicitor is deemed necessary, the cost of this service will be met from your loved one’s funds.

Acting for your loved one in later life once authority is established

If you are appointed as your loved one’s attorney or deputy, you would then need to deal with various organisations to ensure their affairs continue to run smoothly and that their needs are taken care of. This would include financial institutions, such as their existing banks and any investment companies, as well as potentially the Land Registry and conveyancing solicitor if they have a property that needs to be sold, and a financial advisor who specialises in later life clients to ensure that your loved one’s funds are securely and appropriately invested in a risk-averse way that will yield the best possible returns.

Whilst your loved one’s financial position is important to ensure that they have access to suitable care, if a loved one is ill or vulnerable you may also be concerned about the health organisations you need to contact.

Local authority – social services

Depending upon their financial circumstances, your loved one’s local authority may be involved in ensuring that they are placed in a suitable care home or that suitable at-home care is provided. The local authority will also be key in establishing whether funding for your loved one’s care is available.

Provided you have the relevant authority, you are entitled to attend any meetings with the local authority when financial support is discussed. Before attending any care funding meetings, you should seek advice from a solicitor so that you are fully aware of your loved one’s rights and options. If required, you are also entitled to request that your solicitor attends the meeting with you to assist your decisions for later life.

National Health Service (NHS)

Similarly, the NHS may be involved in discussions and decisions surrounding care funding. NHS care funding is available in limited circumstances, but you should obtain legal advice and explore whether this applies to your loved one. You may also be required to attend meetings with NHS doctors, or other medical staff, to discuss aspects of your loved one’s care and how this should be managed.

If you are making decisions on their behalf for later life, it is important that you ensure you are involved in the process all the way along so that you can make decisions on a fully informed basis and one that is in the best interests of your loved one for later life.

How we can help

Acting for a loved one in later life when they are ill or vulnerable can be very rewarding, but it can also be an onerous responsibility. Our solicitors can help you to ensure that your duties as an attorney or deputy are adhered to properly and fully, and that your loved one is cared for in the best possible manner.

For further information please contact please contact Gareth Humberstone or Deborah Gibbs in the Wills and Probate team on 020 8367 3230Martin Shepherd Solicitors LLP has offices in North Finchley (London), Potters Bar and Hertford (Hertfordshire).

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