Your best friend for legal advice

Elderly Client Advice

You may be planning for your future, or perhaps you are feeling you need some help now in managing your affairs. You may have an elderly relative who you are worried about and would welcome some advice about what to do for the best.

We are used to dealing with

  • Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills/Advance Directives
  • Court of Protection work and Deputyships

We can arrange to see you or your relative at home if you or they cannot get into the office. We understand how to deal with someone who may be a little confused or nervous, and we are experienced at putting people at their ease in what can be a worrying situation for them.

All of our specialist lawyers within the department are fully accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly

Contact Simon Stevenson (Full Accredited Member of Solicitors for the Elderly) at​ and he will discuss with you what you need and advise which of his specialist team of Plymouth lawyers will be best to deal with your matter.

Jill Hill is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Frequently asked questions about Elderly Client Advice

Select a question from the list below and click on it to reveal the answer:

QI made an Enduring Power of Attorney some years ago. I keep seeing references to Lasting Powers of Attorney – do I have to make one of those?

A. No, your Enduring Power of Attorney will be sufficient but it is limited to dealing with property and financial decisions only. In October 2007 the law changed so that any Enduring Powers of Attorney made up until then are still valid. However from the 1st October 2007 it has only been possible to make a lasting power of Attorney. It is now possible to make a Lasting Powers of Attorney both in relation to Property and financial decisions and Health and Welfare decisions and therefore if you have an Enduring Power of Attorney only, it would be advisable to also make a Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare to cover Health and Welfare decisions as well.

QMy mother has Alzheimer’s and she has not made a Lasting Power of Attorney. She does not have sufficient understanding to pay her bills or use her savings accounts. What can I do?

A. You will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be made Deputy of her affairs. That will enable you to pay her bills and manage her money and investments.

QMy husband has been diagnosed with dementia. We were just about to sell our jointly owned home and move to somewhere smaller. Can I do this on my own now?

A. No, because you owned the house jointly. Unless he has already made an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney you will have to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint another person to sell the house with you on his behalf.

QMy mother has made a Lasting Power of Attorney in my favour. Can I just run her affairs on my own now?

A. Firstly, the Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once it has been registered with the Court of Protection. This is a routine procedure that takes about 8 weeks. Once the Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered, you can do things on your mother’s behalf but under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 you have a duty to consult with her, and if there are any decisions she is able to make herself you must allow her to make those decisions. You should only make decisions for her that she cannot make herself. If she makes what you think is a bad decision, that does not mean you can overrule her – so long as she is mentally capable of making that decision she is allowed to make a decision which you might think is a wrong one.

QWill the Government take my home if I go into care to pay my fees?

A. The Government will not take your home. You may have to sell it yourself. Although very many people do sell their homes when they go into care this is not automatically necessary. It depends on all your circumstances as to whether this is the right thing for you to do.

QI live at home with my wife but she is about to go into a care home. What will happen to the house?

A. It makes no difference whether you own a house jointly or whether she owns the whole of it. Because you are living in it the Local Authority will not take it into account when they are considering how much your wife can afford to pay towards her care home fees. The house will be ignored until you no longer occupy it as your home.

QShould I give my house to my children?

A. Sometimes people do give their house to their children in order to avoid paying care home fees. However, the risk of giving the house to your children might be greater than the risk of having to pay care home fees – for example one of your children might die or divorce or go bankrupt, and then their share of your house might end up in different ownership. In any case, there are a number of laws designed to prevent you giving your house away if the intention is to get help with your fees.

QIs it right that if I give my house to my children and I survive for 7 years then it will all be ok?

A. No – that 7 year rule relates to inheritance tax. In any case, if you give your house away to your children but continue to live in it, that is not an effective gift for inheritance tax however many years you live for.

QI made my Will 30 years ago. Should I do anything about it now?

A. Yes – you should review your Will roughly every five years. It may not necessarily need changing but you should consider whether it says what you want, and it would be a good idea to get some legal advice about whether in your current circumstances it is still the right Will for you.

  • Solicitors for the Elderly
  • STEP