Managing Affairs 1

Looking after the complexities to secure a better future

Some elderly and vulnerable people find it difficult to keep on top of their personal and financial affairs. This is sometimes due to health or memory problems, or simply because of not being familiar with new technologies.

This can also be a problem for people who are responsible for elderly and vulnerable family members. Caring for a loved one is a big job, and many people simply don’t have time to take on these kinds of additional responsibilities themselves.

How can we help you with managing affairs?

We understand just how important it is to get the help and support you need quickly.

Day To Day Administration

As a team of specialist solicitors, we can help with a wide range of tasks. These typically fall under the category of financial affairs, but we are also able to support our clients with tasks relating to health, property and other ‘life admin.’

Some examples of these tasks include:

● Managing bank accounts.
● Paying bills.
● Pension administration.
● Applying for and claiming benefits.
● Setting up and managing direct debits.
● Paying carers and household staff.
● Managing care home fees.

This comprehensive managing affairs service is designed to help make things simpler for everyone involved. If you have a loved one need help, whether they’re struggling with mental capacity or just aren’t confident using online systems, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Paperwork Auditing

It can be really difficult to care for an elderly or vulnerable relative. If you’re supporting a relative with financial matters, or if you’ve been appointed as their attorney or deputy, you may be feeling overwhelmed by what the role entails. If so, you and your relative may benefit from our paperwork audit service. We can also offer a helping hand if your loved one is preparing for a move, whether that’s to a new house, sheltered accommodation or a care home.

Our team can help you organise and make sense of your/your relative’s paperwork and finances. We can help sort through financial and legal paperwork such as:

● Bank statements.
● Statements for stocks, bonds and annuities.
● Credit card statements.
● Utility bills.
● Property deeds and rental agreements.
● Insurance policies.
● Wills, living wills, powers of attorneys and other legal documents.
● Unopened post.

As part of this process, we’ll make sure that nothing important has been missed and will draw any unpaid bills to your attention.

We’ll create a binder containing all the information you’ll need to keep your affairs in order. This will include details about bank and savings accounts, utility suppliers and insurance providers, as well as a list of emergency contacts for you to use if needed.

Financial Elder Abuse

Elder financial abuse can take many forms. This serious offence can be perpetrated by family members, carers, friends or tradespeople. If you are concerned about financial abuse, it’s important to act as soon as possible.

This kind of abuse could look like:

● Someone, including a family member, exerting undue influence over someone else’s finances.
● The overt or covert taking of money.
● Using possessions without permission.
● Embezzlement.
● Intentional overcharging for products or services.
● Forgery.

How to protect against elder abuse

It’s awful to think that you or a loved one might be targeted simply because of age or declining health. Whether you want to protect yourself or an older family member, there are steps you can take to safeguard against this.

Speak to a solicitor about LPAs and wills

Legal documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and a Will can help to make an elderly person’s finances less vulnerable to abuse. If you do already have a Will or LPA in place, you may wish to review them with a solicitor to ensure they’re still valid and up to date. 

Learn how to recognise fraudulent phone calls/emails

Elderly people are more likely to be targeted by fraudsters as they often assume older people will be less able to recognise scams. You can counteract this by familiarising yourself or your loved one with common types of fraud and how to avoid them. Age UK have some excellent resources available to help with this.

Choose and monitor carers carefully

If you or your elderly relative require care, either in the home or in a care facility, it will be important to make sure you carefully consider all the options available. 

The majority of care providers take their responsibilities very seriously, but close family members should still expect to play a key role in engaging with care plans and monitoring how successfully they are being carried out. 

Keep an eye out for warning signs

One of the best ways to protect elderly relatives from financial abuse is to keep in regular contact and look out for warning signs. These could include:

  • Changes in spending habits.
  • Additional names being added to bank accounts.
  • Cash withdrawals that can’t be explained.
  • Unpaid bills.
  • Reluctance to talk openly about their financial situation.
  • Sudden interest from friends or family members who have not previously been very involved.
  • Reluctance to spend money on usual expenses.
  • Heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

What should you do if you think your loved one is a victim of elder abuse?

If you think your loved one is being targeted for elder abuse, it’s important to act as soon as possible. The Action on Elder Abuse helpline is a helpful resource for initial advice. You can call them on 0808 8088 141. 

If your loved one has been subject to financial abuse, we’d recommend speaking to a solicitor who has experience in this area. They will be able to advise you on whether you may be able to take legal action against the perpetrator. 

It’s really important to seek specialist legal advice if you uncover evidence of financial abuse during the process of administering an estate. Our team of specialist solicitors are here to help. 

Managing Affairs 2

Get the legal advice you need

Dealing with legal issues can be confusing and stressful. If you’re not sure exactly how we can help you, or if you want to get specialist advice right away, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and get in touch.

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