Our Power of Attorney and Affairs Management Service can relieve people of the burden of managing their legal, financial and administrative affairs. The degree of help and support needed and provided varies from person to person. Sometimes our help extends beyond legal and financial, we can be practically useful too.
It can often become increasingly difficult for people to keep on top of their personal, financial and legal affairs as they become older. Things we take for granted when we are well, can become overwhelming when physical or mental health starts to fail.
It is important to talk to us about Lasting Powers of Attorney – they are essential and important legal documents. There are separate documents for financial decisions and health and care decisions. You will find lots of information about Lasting Powers of Attorney on our website. We prepare many Lasting Powers of Attorney every year for our clients.
We are understanding if life has already started to become difficult because of illness. We know how to make things easy for you because we are experts with specialist qualifications and skills, and have years of experience of helping people.
It is usual to need help with practical and personal things at home as we get older. Supportive family and friends are generally the first port of call. We help families get the right legal framework in place so that the right people are doing the right things, in the right way. Sometimes immediate family cannot help because of their own circumstances, even though they would like to.
We also help people who do not have close family or friends who can support them.
Power of Attorney and Affairs Management Services – How We Help
Through our Power of Attorney and Affairs Management Service we give you as much legal, administrative and financial help as you need to support you in being independent, for as long as possible. You can pass on some or all of the burden to us. We enjoy helping our older clients and they usually become friends as well as clients. We fight and win battles with local authorities and care providers to get the best care and financial support for you.
We work with lots of other tried and trusted experts to do the best for our older clients. We work with Doctors, independent nurses and nursing assessors, health and social care professionals and providers, charities such as Age UK, independent financial and investment advisers, accountants and with other specialist solicitors who deal specifically with care funding issues. We assemble and oversee a team of experts to give you the best support in the most cost effective way.
Our work can involve everything from overseeing Investment Managers and Care Providers, to helping chose Christmas presents.
Giving Up Your Own Home and Going Into Care – How We Help
We have helped many people who have eventually decided that it is right to go and live in a care home. We know that this can often be a very difficult decision and a difficult time generally. Once the best care home is found and a decision is made to move, when the time is right we can arrange help to pack up and sell homes. We know and can engage the right people to help efficiently and sensitively. We deal with the legal aspects and arrange and oversee the organisational and practical aspects. We then oversee (usually but not always necessary) a reorganisation of finances and we monitor the ongoing management of finances and day to day life in care. If the first care home isn’t right we will find one that is.
We are an ongoing watchful eye and the first port of call if something is wrong.
Why our Solicitors and The Team at McKenzie Law are the Right People to be Attorneys and Help Manage Your Affairs
We ensure that legal documents like Lasting Powers of Attorney, Wills that protect assets and minimise Tax and Advance Decisions (often called ‘Living Wills’) are all properly in place. We are Solicitors but we are also members of STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and SFE (Solicitors For The Elderly). We are expert legal advisers. As Solicitors we work within one of the most highly regulated professions. Power of Attorney and Affairs Management work requires you to place the utmost trust and faith in your advisers. Our team of expert, qualified, regulated and insured professionals will give you peace of mind. As Solicitors, our rigorous regulatory framework allows us to securely hold and deal with client money as necessary.
We can be your Attorneys or we can help your Attorneys. It is important to understand that if your Attorneys are not professional people, the Law does not usually allow them to pass on or delegate their responsibilities. Normally family and friends are not paid for acting as attorneys and the burden placed on them can be great.
‘Rescuing’ Clients From Care Homes – How We Help As Professional Attorneys
Sometimes we ‘rescue’ clients from care homes which may be inappropriate for the client’s needs, or a place they do not want to be. Our intervention can be vital for someone who does not have close family or friends to call upon. What follows is an example from 2013 with names changed.
Care Home Rescue – A Real Example of Us Helping As Professional Attorneys
In 2013 we ‘rescued’ Arthur from a care home where he was desperately unhappy. Arthur and his wife Emily had been together for more than 70 happy years when Emily died suddenly and unexpectedly.
Emily had always done all things domestic at home (latterly with some help coming in). Arthur did not have any very close family and the family he had could not take on any responsibility for him.
Within 48 hours of Emily dying Arthur had been placed in an EMI Care Home by his family to keep him safe. He was in a state of terrible shock and grief. His beloved wife had died and he was taken away from everything that was familiar because he could not manage on his own at home. Arthur had no chance to grieve and quickly became very depressed. He did not understand why he appeared to have lost his right to live in his own home. He was physically frail and felt he had also lost his voice. No one seemed to be listening to what he said or what he wanted. Arthur was being treated by some as though he had no mental capacity whatsoever. After a few weeks in this situation he said ‘I may as well be dead’. We had to help Arthur and fast.
We had previously made Wills for Arthur and Emily. Their Wills provided for each other but there was also some protection of Emily’s share in their home, so that some capital would be protected for her family and the charities that she had always supported, after Arthur died.
We were the Executors of Emily’s Will and Arthur had made Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. We were Executors for Emily and Attorneys for Arthur.
Arthur did need care and support after Emily died. Practical, domestic, administrative and legal matters were difficult for him but he did not want or need to live in an EMI care home. Before she died Emily shared their fears that if something happened to her ‘they’ would put Arthur in a care home. She said neither of them wanted this to happen.
We arranged for an independent nurse to visit Arthur in the care home. The nurse assessed Arthur’s needs so that we understood exactly what help and support he would need to go home safely. Care experts advised how this care could be provided and the costs.
Arthur needed a live in carer. We reviewed and negotiated the Care Contract to get the best deal for Arthur. We spent half an hour reviewing the contract and potentially saved Arthur almost £5,000 with a simple contract amendment.
We arranged for Arthur’s care to be independently overseen and monitored. We visited Arthur regularly too. Arthur misses his wife very much but he was smiling again, sometimes.
If/ when things become too much for Arthur at home we will help him move to a care home that is right for him. He will be listened to and supported.
There are many aspects to our Attorney and Affairs Management Service. We can be your Attorneys or we can help your Attorneys. Our help may begin with the preparation of a straightforward legal document (A Lasting Power of Attorney) at a time when all is well but it is the start of an important professional and personal relationship that can last for many years. Our team all share the same dedicated approach and philosophy – if something would not be good enough for our own parents, it would not be good enough for our clients.