Thorne Segar News
Solicitors for the Elderly have commissioned a report which highlights a looming incapacity crisis. There is a concerning disparity between the number of people who risk developing dementia or other forms of mental capacity and the number of people planning ahead for this eventuality by getting a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (H&W LPA) in place.
By 2025 the number of people aged over 65 will increase to 15.4 million and 1 million of those will be diagnosed with dementia. By 2050 it is forecast there will be 2.7 million people in the UK living with dementia.
What is a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document which allows you to choose people (attorneys) to look after your affairs if you are longer to do so yourself. Attorneys can be trusted family members or friends but you can also select a legal professional to be your attorney.
A H&W LPA enables your attorneys to make decisions around care plans, medical treatment and end of life wishes.
A H&W LPA must be put in place when you have the mental capacity to do so which is why it is so important to plan ahead. Should you lose capacity, your attorneys can start making decisions on your behalf immediately. A H&W LPA cannot be used unless you have lost capacity.
Why make one?
Contrary to popular believe, your next of kin cannot make medical and care decisions on your behalf. They can only do so if you have nominated them under a H&W LPA.
Only doctors acting in your best interests have the authority to make the final medical and care decisions for you, with or without the consent of your next of kin, should you be unable to make the decisions yourself.
Social services can choose a care home that is not in your preferred location (and may be a significant distance from your home and loved ones) if you do not have a H&W LPA in place.
Formalise your wishes in a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you wish to discuss H&W LPAs in more detail, please book an appointment with our LPA expert Iestyn Milton-Jenkins.
Congratulations go to our Head Cashier, Louise Guscott, who has just been awarded The Institute of Legal Finance and Management Diploma – ILFM (Dip).
Louise studied for the qualification alongside her work – no mean feat considering the course must be completed in just 18 months. The course tests a wide range of industry skills from bookkeeping to compliance with the regulatory accounts rules.
Thorne Segar actively supports Dementia Friends
About Dementia Friends
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends drive the biggest ever initiative to change attitudes towards dementia.
Minehead is home to the second largest retirement community in the UK. People are living longer. The incidence of dementia is increasing correspondingly.
All members of the team at Thorne Segar have attended a course run by Dementia Friends.
Our aim is to ensure dementia sufferers and their families are treated with informed understanding and respect. And to ensure they are fully protected by the law.
Alzheimer’s Society is also our chosen charity for 2018.
The Thorne Segar team celebrated David’s retirement with a special lunch at the Queen’s Head in Minehead.
David was admitted as a solicitor in 1972, amassing 45 years of legal practice in the West Country.
Whilst the national divorce rate in the UK is the lowest in 40 years, some areas in Somerset are bucking the trend, Weston-Super-Mare being named as having the second highest divorce rate of anywhere the UK, a rate exceeded only by Birmingham.
The national divorce rate in couples aged 60 years and over is also on the rise, and given the high percentage of couples over retirement age in Minehead, clearly there is a need for expert legal advice.
In response to this need Thorne Segar Solicitors in Minehead have employed Sally-Anna Kodurand a senior solicitor with over 25 years specialist experience in divorce and family law including child disputes, civil partnership separation and maintenance issues.
She qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and went on to specialise in divorce and family law in London and the South West. Whilst she makes every effort to settle family issues with sensitivity and mediation, in some case a court referral may be necessary and Sally-Ann has proved herself to be a formidable advocate.
Many people don’t realise there is no regulation surrounding the drafting of a will, and that anybody can be an advisor. But if they are unregulated, untrained (not to mention uninsured), your will may not be legally watertight, which could lead to lengthy disputes for your beneficiaries.
Thorne Segar solicitors in Minehead have recently been accredited by the national Law Society’s Will and Inheritance Scheme (WIQS) which means they comply with the highest possible legal standards concerning wills and probate.
In order to achieve this accolade, Thorne Segar have been rigorously assessed to demonstrate they have strict protocols in place, and can advise on issues such as inheritance tax and trust issues.
If you are thinking of making a will it makes sense to go the experts to ensure your last wishes are carried out, and your loved ones aren’t burdened with unnecessary legal problems in the process.
Nicky Tillyer, trainee Legal Executive at Thorne Segar personally raised £1,400 for the North Devon Hospice in Barnstaple, when she took part in a fundraising charity sky dive.
Strapped to an expert diving buddy, she leaped from 1500ft, making a 60 second freefall over the Devon countryside.
Like so many, her life has been touched by the death of loved ones through cancer, which inspired her to raise much needed funds and make her first ever sky dive.
“Admittedly it was pretty hairy jumping out of the aircraft. But the actual free fall was exhilarating. I’d do again at the drop of a hat to raise another £1,400 for the hospice. I can’t think of a more worthwhile cause” said Nicky.
Well done Natalie
Big congratulations to our very own newly qualified solicitor Natalie Tonkin, who beat tough competition to win the prestigious Cook’s & Hatchard’s Law prize for Somerset’s top trainee solicitor of 2016.
Pictured at the awards ceremony with guest speaker Haydn Kelly, Natalie had this to say: ‘Yes it’s been hard work but I thrive on challenges and love my job. Tonight is the icing on the cake, and I’m very proud to be the winner of this award.’
Now your paperwork can be our paperwork
Gone are the days we could communicate by picking up the phone and speaking to a real live person. Nowadays it’s all about frustrating electronic voices, or receiving impersonal letters and emails.
Thorne Segar’s Everyday Help Service deals with things we all occasionally find confusing, or things you would simply prefer to hand over to the experts. Tasks such as form filling, interpreting official letters, managing personal affairs (e.g. banking, paying bills, organising investments). In fact anything of a formal nature which you might find confusing or bewildering.
Whatever your concern let Iestyn Milton-Jenkins do the worrying