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The biggest difficulty a private client solicitor can sometimes have is assessing the mental capacity of a person, which leaves every solicitor thinking “why have you left it this late to seek help”. So often it is the case that clients have left it far too late to seek out the advice, legally and otherwise, that they should have received earlier on to prepare for later life. It is usually the case that the clients have not thought forward and analysed any issues that are associated with later life. Sometimes I guess we all hope that the problems will not affect us and it will be somebody else.

I have come up with 5 points later life clients may wish to consider so that they are prepared –

1. Keep yourself healthy – eat and drink well, keep your mind and body healthy. If you recognise that you are starting to struggle with things don’t be scared to admit it and speak with your GP. You may even consider speaking with a care provider who may be able to assist you with some things no matter how small as they will make life easier.

2. Stay safe – make sure your property is secure and has the correct locks and security system in place. Also speak to your fire service and make sure your fire alarms are up to date and working.

3. Speak to charities and organisations – make sure that if you have received an early diagnosis of a condition like dementia that you seek out the appropriate advice. Speak to Alzheimer’s Society to get their advice. They will be able to assist with a whole host of queries you may have and will have the required expertise to assist you as much as possible.

4. Speak to a financial advisor – have you planned for retirement and could a financial advisor assist you. Are your pensions in the correct investments or do they need altering? Have you received up to date advice for a financial advisor regarding the government’s new changes to pensions? Make sure you speak with a SOLLA advisor (Society of Later Life Advisor)

5. Speak to your solicitor – are your wills up to date and do they cater for your own personal situation?  Is there anything your solicitor may advise that will help you prepare for later life? Do you want to discuss inheritance tax planning? Have you considered lasting powers of attorney to make sure that the people that you would want are able to legally look after your finances and property as well as your health and welfare?

Gorvins Solicitors are holding a Caring Week from the week commencing 2nd March 2015 with a later life seminar incorporating afternoon tea on Tuesday 3rd March 2015. Attendees will be able to hear talks and speak with a wide variety of organisations including Home Instead Senior Care, Age UK, Signpost, FLAG, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and several others. More information is to follow but if you are interested in attending please call 0161 930 5151 and ask for our Wills Trust and Probate Department