We are supporting Carer’s Week this week by making a charitable caring donation of £50 if we make a Will for a carer.
If you know a carer who needs a Will or Powers of Attorney point them our way!
The local account is a report that is prepared by Kent County Council to advise the residents of the county of its achievements, improvements and challenges within the Social Services department during the last year. It also sets out their vision for the future of Social Services and social care in Kent. All local authorities now have to produce a document like this which is completed in partnership with the residents of the county. The 2014/15 account is now available from KCC for review along with an invitation to be involved for the future.
The 2014/15 account is the fourth annual report for Kent’s Adult Social Care. It provides an update on all key areas which challenge social care in Kent and provides information which has been requested by the residents.
Top issues in the 2014/15 year were:
1. Personal care packages
3. Funding queries
4. Case manager’s details
5. Case manager’s response rates
6. Who can help with what
7. Options for elderly and vulnerable adults
8. Whether individuals are known to Social Services
Based on the figures provided by KCC only 2.1% of the population of Kent are known to Social Services.
Well that’s easy – Argo Life and Legacy !
We deal with the remaining 98% of the population who do not access Social Services. We join the dots when Social Services does not. We do not just simply write your Will or prepare your Lasting Powers of Attorney. We do so much more.
We will advise you in relation to care funding and let you know whether you are entitled to help and support or have to fund your own care. We will advise you of the best way to manage any financial support you do receive from Social Services. We can help to build your care packages, co-ordinate your medical and health assessments and get you back on your feet again if you are struggling with managing your financial affairs.
And, whatever we do for you, we do it with a smile and a helping hand. We care about our clients and want their lives to be as fulfilling and enjoyable as they can be. Age has no boundaries and we help our clients see that it does not.
T: 01227 700 702
Published by Kelly Duke 8 June 2016
In short, one way of looking at it means we’ve been checked over by a regulatory body and declared fit for purpose. In reality, that was the case already when we were members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) though they are not a regulatory body.
In practical terms it means:
When it comes to the provision of legal services, there is a huge difference between regulated and unregulated and between qualified and unqualified. When seeking legal advice it is essential you check that the people you go to are qualified to provide that advice – whether they are regulated or not.
If they are unregulated, make sure they are members of a body with a code of practice such as the IPW – IPW members have to put insurance in place to protect consumers and a complaint handling procedure.
Amongst our staff we have a solicitor, a Fellow of CILEx, an Associate of CILEx, and a student member of CILEx. Our Fellow of CILEx is also a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly. None of us dabble in other areas of law – we are specialists with years of experience keen to help others.
For advice, guidance and support contact us – it’s what we do.
T: 01227 700 702
Published by Simon Crooks 19 May 2016
A Living Will, Advance Directive, Advance Statement are all the same thing. Since the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act in 2005 these names have now been rolled into one, an Advanced Medical Decision.
An Advanced Medical Decision is a written statement containing details of medical treatment that are to apply if a person becomes terminally ill or mentally incapacitated. It must be made when a you are over eighteen and have capacity. It can be as detailed as you wish. The document applies to circumstances which may arise in the future at a time when you lack capacity to make decisions for yourself.
The Advanced Medical Decision protects your autonomy, allowing you to rely on it for medical treatment in accordance with your wishes and provides a voice at a time when you may go unheard. It protects your dignity and privacy and gives you the power of planning how you want to grow old; whether it is gracefully or disgracefully!
Prior to the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, there was no legislation which established rules and regulations for making Advanced Medical Decisions. Rules and regulations were contained only in case law. This is now enshrined in the Mental Capacity Act which confirmed that an Advanced Medical Decision must be:
• In writing
• Signed by the person making the Advanced Medical Directive or by another person at their direction in the presence of witnesses
• Witnessed by another person in the presence of the person making the Advanced Medical Decision
Medical professionals will consider the document to be valid if it has been signed in accordance with the above criteria and has not been revoked. An Advanced Medical Decision does not always have to be in writing however. It is equally possible for verbal statements to be considered.
It is not wise to prepare and sign an Advanced Medical Decision without keeping it under review. As we all know, the world of medical science advances quickly and what was the most effective treatment at the time the Advanced Medical Decision was made may not be when treatment is required.
Caution must be exercised, however, in relation to life sustaining treatment. An oral statement is not sufficient for these purposes. Where wishes relate to treatment that would sustain life these must be written and signed in accordance with the criteria above.
With the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Health & Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney, many thought the use of Advanced Medical Decisions would decline. We regularly advise clients on not only making a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney but also an Advanced Medical Decision to accompany and compliment the Lasting Power. This is particularly the case where clients have specific wishes in relation to specific conditions and want to be able to react to changes in medical treatment through the use of the Advanced Medical Decision.
Whichever document you choose to make either would be preferable to neither. Just make sure you have a voice when you need one but cannot make yourself heard.
For further advice, guidance and support contact us – it’s what we do.
T: 01227 700 702
Published by Kelly Duke 12 May 2016
Mediators and family lawyers will advise you on the practicalities of divorce but are there other things that you should also think about. Here are six handy hints that could benefit you significantly:
For further advice, guidance and support contact us – it’s what we do.
T: 01227 700 702
Published by Claire Godwin 11 March 2016
For many years activities undertaken by the Court of Protection in relation to the administration of the financial affairs and the health and welfare of individuals has been a mystery. Whilst cases have been open to the public and cases have been reported this has been with the anonymity of those involved being protected.
The Court of Protection was established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is responsible for:
The Court of Protection deals with about 25,000 applications under the Act each year.
From 29 January a new pilot Practice Direction will apply to new hearings that pass through the Court. Hearings set prior to 29 January will still be governed by the old reporting rules. Under the new pilot scheme the media and public will be able to attend hearings, unless a specific exclusion is applied.
The pilot is expected to run throughout England and Wales for six months when analysis will be undertaken to assess the success of the scheme.
Court of Protection cases are of interest to each and everyone of us as the decisions made by the Court affect the way our attorneys behave and can act on your behalf. A more transparent Court is in everyone’s best interest.
Published by Kelly Duke 26 February 2016
Whilst the care homes may be aware of what an outbreak is and the procedures to deal with this, are you?
Fever of 37.8 C or above AND new symptoms or acute worsening of one of more of these:
Runny nose or congestion
Shortness of breath
A sudden decline in physical or mental ability without other known cause
The definition of a flu outbreak is:
Two or more cases of flu-like illness within 48 hours
Three or more cases within 72 hours
Which occur in residents and/or staff who are in close proximity to each other.
Care homes need to be aware of the residents who may become unwell and also their staff as they can act as carriers to the illness too.
If there is an outbreak of flu then the local health protection team must be notified as soon as an outbreak is suspected. The local health protection team for Kent can be found in Ashford on 0344 225 3861 ext 1. Visitors may be asked to stay away until the outbreak is contained or areas of a home may be closed to visitors if certain areas are experiencing problems.
If you have any worries that your friend or relative may be suffering with flu report your concerns to the care home manager who will take the appropriate action to minimise the spread and impact on the residents, staff and care home functioning.
Published by Kelly Duke 25 February 2016
There are two main strategies which investors can employ when creating an investment portfolio; an active strategy and/or a passive strategy. In terms of how the assets are managed, the two strategies are polarising, but both have their own merits and drawbacks.
To summarise active and passive investing; active investment involves utilising the knowledge, skill and experience of a fund manager to try and achieve better returns than a benchmark. Conversely, passive investment generally involves using a tracking strategy to mirror the performance of a particular index, such as the FTSE 100.
There are benefits to each approach. Passive investment strategies generally incur lower charges than active strategies because there is no value-added research and analysis involved with this strategy. On the other hand, active strategies utilise in-depth research and analysis with the aim of capturing benchmark-beating returns. At Brooks Macdonald, we firmly believe in active investment management; with the aim of achieving above-benchmark performance for our clients over the long term.
A passive fund has to invest in the same securities, and in the same proportions, as the index that it tracks. On the contrary, an active manager has a much greater degree of flexibility, as such they can avoid underperforming sectors and capitalise on rising sectors.
A contemporary example illustrates certain benefits of this autonomy; active UK equity managers were recently able to avoid both the mining sector, which has seen large declines over the past year amid concerns regarding China’s economic slowdown, and the energy sector, which has suffered due to the sharp fall in oil prices. Furthermore, active managers have focussed their attention on companies with varying levels of market share – they have invested the capital withheld from the energy and mining sectors in mid- and small-cap UK companies. Such companies tend to be more domestically focused than their larger counterparts and have therefore outperformed as the UK economy has shown improvement.
For more details and contact information for Brooks MacDonald visit our Partners page.
Published by Simon Crooks 15th January 2016
1) If not now, when?
The need to write a Will is rarely on your mind. However, you’re thinking about it now in reading this. If you don’t act now, when will you? Next year? In 10 years? Maybe 20? It is a job that needs doing but you never know when by.
2) Writing a Will brings peace of mind
Peace of mind for you, knowing things are in order, but also to loved ones who are spared any added complications at a difficult time. A Will makes it easier for your estate to be distributed.
3) You can create your Will at a convenient time
What works best for you? Would you like an evening appointment, a weekend one or even a home visit? One of the key benefits of Argo Life & Legacy is that we will work around your schedule.
4) Leaving a Will shows you care
Creating a Will is more than just an important administrative task. Creating a Will shows you care and you love, that you are willing to take the time to document the many people who matter in your life.
5) Parents with young children – you need a Will
Have you had a discussion with your partner about what would happen to the children if you both died? A Will sets out clearly who should look after your children if the worst were to happen.
6) Not married yet?
If you aren’t married, your partner could miss out completely if you don’t make a Will. A Will is important even if you plan to marry, but it is essential if you don’t as otherwise your partner is left without any safeguard.
7) Not divorced yet?
If you are in the process of getting divorced, your soon-to-be ex-wife could still inherit. This might not be what you want, so you need an Interim Will in this scenario.
8) Minimise the taxman’s take
As the saying goes, the only two certainties are death and taxes. We can ensure you are taking advantage of any available tax relief to at least mitigate one of the certainties…
9) Reflect what’s important in your life
How often do you get to think about your life, the people you love, the achievements and milestones? Creating a Will gives you a rare opportunity for ‘me time’ with the focus on what’s important to you.
10) It’s neither expensive or time consuming
At Argo Life & Legacy, we agree a fixed fee with you prior to starting. And don’t forget we can work around your schedule – call us on 01227 700 702 today for an appointment.