Legal

What if it is too late for a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Powers of Attorney (often referred to as an LPA) are useful documents which you can make while you have mental capacity to appoint people to act for you if you lose such capacity.  Your chosen attorneys will act in your best interests if you can no longer make decisions for yourself.  You can have more than one attorney and can appoint them in different ways.  There are two types – one for Property and Finances and one for Health and Welfare Decisions.  There is generally no ongoing supervision or court involvement.

But what if you haven’t made a Lasting Power of Attorney? What if the loss of capacity was sudden before you had the chance to make a Lasting Power of Attorney? Who can access your bank and investments and pay bills for you?  Who can make decisions about your welfare?

If you lose capacity without appointing attorneys, the Court of Protection can appoint a Deputy to look after your property and financial affairs. The Court can appoint a family member or friend but in some instances a professional is required.

Applying to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy can be complex.  As part of the process interested people such as close friends and family must be notified of the application so that they have a right to respond.  Medical evidence is required to prove to the Court that the person has lost capacity.  If the application is successful, the Court will make an order outlining the Deputy’s rights and responsibilities.

Once appointed, the Deputy must submit an annul report to the Court detailing all income and expenditure such as paying bills, investment decisions, purchases etc.  The Deputy will be supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian and may also be visited by a representative from the Court of Protection from time to time to ensure that they are carrying out their role and duties properly.

Applying to the Court of Protection can be a complicated and daunting.  We can support you through the process and make it as easy as possible.  We can also make the application on your behalf and act as Deputy if required.

If you would like more advice about this, please contact our Private Client Team for a free initial consultation on 01925 230 000 or visit www.fdrlaw.co.uk

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The pensions marketplace as always been a complex one but the approaching ‘Freedom & Choice in Pensions’ legislation will make specialist advice even more important for individuals, particularly as they plan for their approaching retirement.

We offer friendly, clear advice on all aspects of pension income and, because of our extensive experience in the online marketplace can offer a superior service either on a ‘face to face’ basis, by phone or by email.

We have been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Chartered Financial Planners’ by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). This title is only awarded to firms with a commitment to developing and maintaining the knowledge and capability of their people and we pride ourselves on this.

Visit our website at www.yourretriementadviser.co.uk or call us on 0151 353 1066.

Choosing The Right Solicitor For You

If you find yourself in a legal fix, or in need of help with a legal problem, hiring a solicitor to help you get through it is probably the right solution. Even legal problems that seem very straight forward may end up having wide reaching implications. Only a person who’s been trained to deal with these situations in a professional context can give you good advice on how to deal with them. Since there are many different legal problems you may find yourself in, there are just as many different types of solicitors. Specialist solicitors will have expertise in a particular area, but may not be as well trained in others. Here are some basics about the various types of solicitors.

Many every day situations require the advice of someone who knows what to do when it comes to the law. For instance, the simple act of buying property requires a solicitor to help things go easily. If you get a traffic violation that you don’t feel was your fault, you might consult someone about what to do next, and property suits also require the help of a solicitor.

* High Street Solicitors – When you first discover that you’re in need of legal help, you’ll probably consult with a high street solicitor. These are generalist solicitors who are equally trained in many different aspects of the legal code. They’ll either be able to help you directly, or recommend a specialist for you to visit.

* Property Solicitors – A property solicitor or conveyancing solicitor is the person you’ll go to if you’re putting in an offer for a flat or a house. This person will be able to make sure that everything is happening legally, and that you’ll end up with the property. Your property solicitor can also help make things go a little more quickly and easily.

* Divorce Solicitors – While everyone wants to believe that marriage is forever, often it’s not. When a divorce is needed, you’ll want to contact a divorce solicitor for help. This person can help you get the important legal matters worked out, divide up property, and achieve a fair settlement.

* Injury Solicitors – If you’ve been injured in a situation that wasn’t your fault, and would like to seek compensation, talking to an injury solicitor might help. You can get advice on what to do, and, if needed, file a suit against the individual or company that’s responsible for your injury.

* Tax Solicitors – Business owners will be familiar with this type of solicitor. They’re there to help you deal with your taxes, and they know all there is to know about the complicated UK tax system. If you want to stay on the good side of Inland Revenue, contact a tax solicitor.

* Commercial Solicitors – Another business related type, commercial solicitors specialise in business disputes, contract arrangements, and similar legal matters. People who want to start their own business and aren’t sure what legal papers need to be filed, those who need to dispute the actions of another business, and people who need to draw up a contract can all make use of a commercial solicitor.

* Employment Solicitors – These solicitors help work with employees and employers to settle disputes. Unfair dismissal cases are an example.

There are solicitors that incorporate all these areas of law by providing a vast range of legal services across numerous sectors by employing qualified solicitors with specialties in each individual area. A good example of this practice is DWF LLP, a leading full service law firm based in Leeds. The firm employ over 1000 people, including 124 Partners. An advantage of using a firm such as DWF LLP that has expertise in all areas is that if you have a complicated case that spans multiple areas of law you know that the firm has the contacts and expertise to break it down. In addition to this, if you start working with DWF LLP for one area such as finance you may find in a few months down the line you have an issue based on real estate, which can quickly be assessed through the same company.

The Law Firm has the ability to serve clients on a national basis from their offices in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Preston as well as internationally through their close relationships with law firms around the world. As with their flexible approach to the cases they take, DWF LLP pride themselves on providing outstanding client services that combine excellent advice with an approachable style. They proudly state “We believe that clients should expect outstanding client service and as such this is what we aim to achieve in all that we do. We aspire to be recognised as the best law Firm to work with in our chosen markets. To do this, we recruit talented individuals who are encouraged to understand the business needs of clients so as to meet and, wherever possible, exceed their expectations. In addition, we have built an infrastructure that is not just client-facing, but is increasingly client-driven. That means we don’t just listen to our clients, we change the way we do business to meet their ever evolving needs.”

The firm continue to provide a full range of legal services to businesses and private clients across the UK with individual Practice Groups in Banking & Finance, Business Recovery, Corporate, Family Law and Private Client, Insurance, Litigation, People and Real Estate. With Specialist Sectors in Automotive, Education, Food, Legal Expenses, Public Sector, Resourcing, Retail and Leisure. This kind of diversity guarantees that whatever law issue you have someone across the companies 1000 staff has the expertise you require. You can find more information about the company via their ever expanding website: ‘www.dwf.co.uk’.

Why use a Solicitor?

They’ll be most likely to be some point in your life where you will require the services of a solicitor, if you haven’t already used one. Maybe you will need the help in making a will, hopefully not but perhaps an unpleasant divorce comes your way, a prosperous house move or even you’re your own employment disputes may well need taking care of, or simply you may require the help drawing up business contracts. For whatever the reason there is a solicitor out there to help you. Lots of people feel wary about using solicitors, considering them to be too expensive and a bit pompous but trying to do all the legal work yourself could result in you spending more money out in the long, it could also even lead to disastrous consequences which will be very hard or impossible to undue once the damage has already been done. There’s a good reason why it takes 7 years full time studying to become a qualified solicitor. Let the professionals handle your personal and commercial business; there will be a solicitor out there that you feel comfortable with on a one to one basis and on a financial basis.

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