Services for the Elderly
We have all heard the items of news about an aging population, and most of us would agree that as we mature we find that health issues arise, finances may become stretched and new challenges have to be faced, perhaps because of new technology or increased bureaucracy and form filling. In 1951 just 16% of the UK population was aged 60 or over but by 2014 this had increased to 23%. In 1985 almost 700,000 people in the UK were aged 85 or over and that number is projected to increase to 3.6 million by 2035.
Of course, being “elderly” does not exclude anyone from any of the difficult and upsetting matters that affect many of our clients, such as property disputes or contact with grandchildren, and Burley Geach can assure you that, whatever your enquiry, we have experts who can advise and assist you in a respectful and professional manner.
However, there are some important and more specific considerations to make as we get older which we should all address to ensure that our affairs are dealt with as we would wish:-
You might be considering a move to a smaller property or releasing some of the value of your home through an equity release mortgage to fund a particular project, to make gifts or just enhance your standard of living. If staying in your own home has ceased to be an option and you have made a move into care, where certain criteria is met, the possibility of a local authority deferred payment scheme may also warrant consideration.
It is important, no matter the size of your estate, to review your will and update it when necessary, ensuring family and friends benefit as you would wish. When making or revising your will you would also be wise to consider current tax laws so that the will is structured in the most efficient way possible.
It may be possible to mitigate a liability for inheritance tax by structuring your affairs through a combination of lifetime planning and careful drafting of wills. We can ensure that you fully utilise and benefit from available tax reliefs and exemptions.
By appointing attorneys to deal with your financial affairs or health and welfare you can ensure that, if or when the time comes, very important decisions about you are made by people that care about you and that you trust to make the right choices. In the absence of an attorney it may become necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a deputy which ultimately may mean decisions are made that do not reflect your wishes.
To advise in all these matters, Burley Geach have a team of specialists, including members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) who are available to discuss your particular circumstances in more detail. To ensure peace of mind by arranging your personal affairs now please contact your nearest office.