Solicitors for Older People based in Grantown-on-Spey & Inverness serving the Highlands and Scotland
As we get older, our perspective changes. We start to think more not only about our own future, but the future of those close to us and how they will be cared for after we are no longer around. Having plans in place for your later years can offer clarity and certainty for everyone concerned, giving you peace of mind to enjoy your later years to their fullest.
The solicitors at Masson Cairns are on hand to provide simple, straightforward, professional advice on a wide range of legal matters. From preparing and drafting a Will to putting in place Powers of Attorney and Guardianships, we provide a comprehensive service specifically tailored for older clients. We understand that putting your affairs in order can be an overwhelming experience, but you can be sure that our friendly and approachable lawyers will take the time to go through everything with you at your pace, explaining your options simply and without using confusing legal jargon.
Solicitors for the Retired
As we live longer and have more active retirements, planning for this time in our lives becomes more important than ever. Retirement is a time to reward yourself and those close to you for all the years of hard work that you have undertaken. Whether you have already retired or are looking forward to the end of your working life, our solicitors are here to help.
We take a uniquely client-focused approach, working closely with you to find solutions that work best for you.
Going into Care
While we all want to maintain as much of our independence as possible, the future can be difficult to predict. Rising life expectancy means that the likelihood that we will one day have to rely on nursing and residential care in the future is also increasing. State funding for this type of care is becoming increasingly limited, and many people may be worried about how their care will be paid for if there comes a time when they need it. Depending on your circumstances, all your income such as your pension, any interest accrued on savings and dividends can be used to cover care costs. You may also be concerned about what type of care you will receive and who will handle your financial matters if you are no longer able to. Our lawyers can help with residential care planning by advising on what steps you can take right now to protect your position in the future, as well as that of your loved ones.
We can advise on matters such as:
- Writing and updating a will
- Granting powers of attorney
- Preparing a living will
- Transferring ownership of property
- Inheritance tax planning
- Creating trusts
- Applications for NHS care funding and disputes
Making a Will
Having a properly drafted and up-to-date Will is essential. Your Will can be used to specify the people and causes that you wish to inherit from your estate when you die, as well as for planning your funeral and putting in place arrangements for any vulnerable family members for whom you care.
You should update your Will every few years, especially if there have been significant changes in your circumstances. This could include a divorce or the birth of grandchildren who you may now wish to inherit part of your estate, but any increases in your personal wealth or the value of your home may warrant changes being made also. A Will can also be used for inheritance tax planning or the setting up of trusts to ensure as much of your estate is passed on to loved ones.
At this time, our solicitors can also advise on lifetime giving and transferring property to other members of your family, steps that may have an impact on your liability for care costs.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (PoA) can be used to put in place provisions should you be unable to make important decisions in the future. This can be for a short period, for example, if you are required to spend time in hospital or might be used as a long-term solution if your health deteriorates and you need more help from those close to you.
A Living Will provides instructions to medical professionals about your wishes if you become incapacitated and cannot give direct instructions yourself. Some people use these to state clearly that they do not want to receive specific treatments or that they do not wish to be resuscitated if they suffer a particular medical condition. While assisted suicide remains illegal in Scotland, a Living Will is seen as a way of allowing an individual a certain amount of control about what interventions they wish to be carried out, or not carried out, at the end of their life.
Guardianships & Intervention Orders
Both of these mechanisms are required where an individual has lost capacity and there is no Power of Attorney in place. In order to be able to manage the individuals affairs i.e. authorise where the person resides, the care the person should receive and how that care should be delivered a relative needs to apply to the Court for Guardianship.
Why apply for Guardianship? The application may be made because the person is struggling to make decisions or because they cannot safeguard their property or finances. It may be because there is a conflict between the adult and their carers about what care is needed, or where they need to live. Or it may be because carers or relatives want to have a central role in all decisions being made for the person who lacks capacity.
Guardianship applications fall within the scope of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. We can advise you on the types of guardianship available, how long the appointment lasts for, the duties of a guardian and most importantly how to be appointed.
Whilst a Guardianship order gives authority to act and make certain decisions on behalf of an individual over the long term, an Intervention order is appropriate where there is a need for a one-off decision or action. It may be appropriate to apply for a financial intervention order in order to open, operate or close an account held by the adult, to buy or sell property or for example to sell moveable property held by the adult to obtain an income. In the event that the individual was unable to give medical consent to significant medical or dental treatment, then it may be appropriate to apply for a welfare intervention order.
For a free initial consultation to receive advice specific to your individual requirements please contact us.
Contact our Solicitors based in Grantown-on-Spey & Inverness serving the Highlands and Scotland
We have been providing clients throughout the Spey Valley, the Cairngorms and across the Highlands with the very best legal advice for over 30 years. Working from our offices based in Grantown-on-Spey & Inverness serving the Highlands and Scotland and Inverness, our locally-based team will be happy to arrange an initial appointment with you to discuss matters in person at a time that suits you.