Elderly & vulnerable people

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.

WLA Family Lawyers group offers sympathetic, insightful advice.

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.

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.