Russell and Russell Solicitors can deal with all the legal aspects of your new life together. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, looking to protect your assets, thinking about starting a family or want to leave your possessions to those you care about, we can help.
We’ve nine offices across the North West; in Bolton, Atherton, Bury, Chester, Farnworth, Horwich and Middleton. And, because anything can happen at any time, we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Some excellent advice on this often tricky issue that is best handled sooner rather than later..
Russell and Russell Defends Lasting Powers of Attorney Russell and Russell’s head of probate, Judith Bromley has defended lasting powers of attorney (LPA) after Denzil Lush, the former senior Judge of the Court of Protection, warned they may leave elderly people open to abuse. An LPA is a legal document that allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf in the event of a loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness, such as dementia. In the foreword to a new book on the subject, Mr Lush raised concerns about the “lack of transparency” in how appointed attorneys manage older people’s finances. The former judge went on to criticise the Ministry of Justice as being “disingenuous” in its promotion of the legal document. Judith - a member of national organisation Solicitors for the Elderly - believes LPAs are effective safeguards when created responsibly. She commented: “Senior Judge Lush’s comments have given rise to fears that LPAs are a direct avenue for financial abuse. However, his comments must be put into context, as his 20-year career at the Court of Protection will have presented him with the very worst cases of financial abuse. “An LPA can be a positive and effective legal tool, which ensures your wishes are respected should you ever lose capacity. Senior Judge Lush’s comments should highlight the clear need for professional advice when considering powerful legal documents of this nature.” Top tips on drafting a lasting power of attorney Plan early – While you have capacity, it’s vital that you get your affairs in order and choose the best people to manage your affairs, in case of an accident or illness. You can’t appoint an attorney once you lose capacity. Choose carefully – Think carefully who you want to appoint as your attorney and have an open conversation with them so they understand your wishes and what their responsibilities will include. Consider appointing more than one person as your attorney so they can share the responsibility. Consider appointing a professional – A family member might not always be the best person to act as your attorney. Instead, you can appoint a professional such as a solicitor. They can act as a neutral third party and make unbiased decisions that are in your best interests. Bear in mind this usually involves a cost. Think about different circumstances – Consider how you would like your attorney to manage your property and financial affairs in different situations. For example, are you happy for your property to be sold to pay for your care costs? Address the difficult questions – Your attorney might have to make difficult decisions about your health and welfare. If you have specific wishes around your care plans, medical treatment, or end of life wishes, make sure you discuss this with them and make your choices clear in your document. Seek professional advice – Shop-bought and online LPA kits may be suitable for those with very straightforward financial situations or with considerable legal experience, but for most people, seeking professional legal advice is the best way of ensuring that an LPA is effective, legally robust and safe. Keep your plans current – Make sure you keep your LPA updated if your circumstances change. Your choices around the people you want to be responsible for your finances and wellbeing may change, such as following a marriage or divorce, when children reach adulthood, or if parents pass away.
Marriage and Divorce in Equal Measure for the Over 65s
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics have revealed
that the number of people aged 65 and over getting married had increased by 46%
in the decade from 2004 to 2014.
Data shows that in 2004, 7,468 marriages in this age group were
recorded, while in 2014 the figure was up to 10,937. The figures also indicated
that, in 2014, a whopping 92% of these people were divorcees, widows or
widowers, leaving just 8% getting married for the first time.
It’s believed that the rise in the number of “silver splicers” is
due to a combination of the post-war baby boomers and people generally living
longer. In fact, the number of people aged over 65 has increased by 20% in the
In contrast, despite a 28% decline in general divorce rates between
2005 and 2015, older people are bucking the trend. In the same period, divorces
involving men over 65 went up by 23% and those of women, by 38%.
believed the increase in “silver separators” is down to people living longer. In
2004, an average 65-year-old man could expect to live for a further 17 years
and a woman for a further 20 years. In 2017, this has risen to 19 years for a
man and almost 22 years for a woman.
of all this means that whether you’re getting married or simply living with
each other, the assets you build up could be substantial. As such, it’s
important to consider getting a pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreement drawn up.
It may not be particularly romantic, but it will help avoid any potential
conflict should the relationship break down in the future.
Did you know that new research has shown that hundreds of thousands of people could end up having to pursue their own personal injury litigation for road traffic accidents?
Personal Injury Reforms Could Mean Victims of Road Traffic Accidents Foot Legal Bills New research has shown that hundreds of thousands of people could end up having to pursue their own personal injury litigation for road traffic accidents. The study, which was commissioned by lobbying group, Access to Justice revealed that 80% of road traffic accident claims settled by solicitors over the past year were for less than £5,000. Although the Ministry of Justice has yet to confirm it, this is below a new threshold outlined in plans put forward by the government to introduce reforms to personal injury compensation claims. Currently, the point at which solicitors are able act on behalf of victims of road traffic accidents is set at £1,000. Under the new proposals, however, the limit will rise to £5,000, leaving claimants with the prospect of having to pursue their case through the small claims court themselves. At the moment, it’s not clear what the government has in mind to help people who want to bring a claim as it’s anticipated that many people won’t be able to afford the cost a solicitor. The research carried out by Capital Economics analysed cases supplied by 58 law firms, which had settled 171,939 RTA claims between them in the previous year, accounting for almost a quarter of such cases. The average value of damages was £3,029. The figures were investigated alongside the government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), which recorded 780,324 motor claims in 2016/17. Access to Justice believes that the limit should be set at £2,000 to match the limit being suggested by the government for other types of personal injury claims. A spokesman for Access to Justice said that a £5,000 limit would “open up the floodgates to the injured public being targeted by an increase in unqualified claims farmers and cold callers”. He also stated that a £2,000 limit would reduce the number of claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit a year by around 140,000, which the group has estimated will save insurers around £400m a year.
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