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New increase on Probate Court fees to hit UK families

The Ministry of Justice has now confirmed that the Government is pressing ahead with substantial increases in Probate Court fees.

This decision arises despite arguments against the move by The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Solicitors for the Elderly and the majority of respondents to the Government consultation process.

Wills, Lifetime Gifts and Care Fees

Many people these days are worried about the impact future care fees may have on their ability to leave their property to the next generation, specifically the value which may be tied up in the family home. Consider this scenario: Mr & Mrs A jointly own their family property worth £150,000. Mr A dies and…

Worried about the financial future of your disabled child?

A recurring anxiety expressed by parents of a disabled child is what will happen to the child after the parent’s death, when they are no longer around to provide financial support. The importance of sensible estate planning cannot be over-emphasised in these circumstances and professional advice will be invaluable in helping you to understand the…

New Court of Protection Guidance on Covert Medication

In care home settings it is an extremely common practice for medication to be secretly administered to residents who lack mental capacity; maybe by being hidden in food, or simply by being given to them without explanation. This is most commonly done purely to ensure compliance with a medication regime. Whilst medication should be prescribed…

First Successful CQC Prosecution Against Care Provider

Following the Mid Staffordshire NHS Inquiry and the introduction of new care standards, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 created a clear duty for care providers to provide safe care and treatment to service users. A failure to meet this duty which results in avoidable harm, or a significant risk…

Dementia and the Importance of Professional Legal Advice

Dementia is never far from the news and is currently receiving unprecedented public focus. Recognised as a public health priority by the World Health Organisation, it is also a personal priority of the Prime Minister who launched his national challenge in 2012 and 2015 to: “deliver sustained improvements in health and care, create dementia friendly…

Unlawful deprivation of liberty – do you have a case?

This is an area of law which is undergoing significant change yet which is of profound significance for vulnerable individuals. The following provides a brief overview of the current position. Human Rights Act 1998 Article 5 of the Human Rights Act 1998 enshrines an individual’s right to liberty. However those deemed to be ‘unsound of…

D-Day for DevoManc

1st April 2016 is a hugely significant day for Greater Manchester. It’s the day which Central Government passes control of a £6 billion health and social care budget to the health and local authorities of Greater Manchester. Manchester’s health devolution budget – commonly referred to as DevoManc – is a development that will be watched…

Winter Blues for the NHS and the Elderly

According to the latest statistics, January 2016 was a terrible month for the NHS. Performance data shows that the NHS missed almost all key waiting time targets, ranging from routine elective surgery to emergency A&E care. As the Guardian reports: “The data shows that 212,136 patients waited more than the maximum four hours to be…

Inheritance Tax and the Residential Nil Rate Band

With the property market on the rise across England and Wales, more and more houses are increasing in value. While, for homeowners, this is good news, house price appreciation does have a less positive consequence when it comes to inheritance tax liability. For Will planning, a person’s estate is the total belongings left after they…

The growing social care crisis and the impact on council tax

Most councils are engaged in finalising and announcing their budgets for 2016/2017. For local governments, this process includes considering policy objectives, looking at how much money is available, and prioritising what they can afford to spend. All while meeting their statutory duties. In his October 2015 budget, the Chancellor announced that councils would be able to increase council tax by up to 1.99% to raise money for much-needed adult social care services.

Changing family finances and the cost of elderly care

A recent report by a leading public policy think tank, has identified some significant challenges due to an increasingly ageing population. These challenges, which include funding the cost of elderly care, are likely to reduce the assets of the older generation. In response, six in ten people now believe that it’s better to hand money down the generations during their lifetime than it is to leave money in a Will. Interestingly, these ‘lifetime’ gifts are being made to grandchildren rather than children, in many cases to help them on the property ladder.

Family refunded unlawful top-up care home fees

All too regularly, families have to pay substantial top-up fees to subsidise the care received by elderly relatives in care homes. However, while top-up fees can be an appropriate way to ensure your loved ones receive a standard of care you feel comfortable with, in many instances these fees are being unlawfully or unnecessarily charged.

The importance of remembering those affected by dementia

Imagine the scene – you go into your bedroom to find it has been redecorated in colours you don’t like and your belongings have been moved around and now you can’t find anything.

Some of your prized possessions may have been thrown out. You would probably feel a bit lost or confused, but mostly upset and angry. You would eventually work it out, but that is because your brain would be telling you what to do and where to look. The brain doesn’t work in the same way for individuals who are sadly affected by dementia.

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