Powers of attorney
Elderly and vulnerable people
As life expectancy continues to rise, so unfortunately do the financial risks and legal issues affecting older and vulnerable people.
Matters relating to the legal protection and the best interests of older people have the potential to be divisive, especially within families. For example, disagreements as to whether the head of a family business is losing their capacity to make sound decisions are increasingly commonplace.
Someone to talk to
As a family member or other representative of a vulnerable person, this is likely to be a challenging time for you. Decisions can be painful, more so where they are contested. It can be difficult to determine whether someone has lost mental capacity, and there may be others involved who disagree on how to handle the situation and who can make decisions where the person who has always decided in the past can no longer do so. For international families, there are likely to be complicated cross-border issues.
With more than 100 years’ experience in helping individuals and families, our lawyers offer sympathetic, insightful advice. Julia Abrey, a partner who focuses on elder law, and members of our team have helped to shape and continue to provide guidance on the development of fundamental aspects of elder law. Issues relating to a person’s capacity to take legal decisions are a particular strength, and we are top-ranked in legal directories for our handling of these sensitive matters. With team members in the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore, we are on the end of the phone if you need to discuss your legal options.
As well as the families and appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people, we regularly act for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. We are skilled in helping with all aspects of estate and tax planning and encourage our clients to consider the possibility of mental and/or physical decline before the situation arises and take action to ensure that their chosen representative is in place to take decisions should that time come. Sadly it is not always the case that the necessary provisions are put in place before incapacity, In that situation we specialize in applications to the Court of Protection. We can help to select a suitable attorney to make decisions if incapacitation becomes an issue, define that person’s role and build in safeguards where appropriate. We advise on disabled trusts and advance decisions to refuse medical treatment, also known as ‘living wills’.
As a firm that acts for families down the generations, we also offer understanding. We know how important clarity is in this situation and, while cases are rarely straightforward, our experience means that we can help you to prepare for the challenges ahead.
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