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Broaching the subject of future care arrangements

View profile for Michelle Cruddas
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Broaching the subject of future care arrangements with an elderly parent can be a sensitive issue. However, sensible planning can give peace of mind to loved ones and reduce potential worry and complexity for you and others who might be involved in their care arrangements in the future.

It is very important to emphasise that your parent should not be pressured into action. Obvious as it might sound, you will need to remember that their priorities and preferences may not necessarily be the same as yours or others. Indeed, solicitors are required to ensure that other people are not exercising ‘undue influence’ on the person they are advising, even if it is well intentioned.

Do not jump to conclusions about the kinds of legal advice required; speak to a solicitor specialising in later life planning. Often it is not simply a case of ‘drafting’ a Lasting Power of Attorney or Will but rather discussing what plans should be put in place and ensuring any legal documents accurately reflect those plans and intentions. A specialist solicitor will set out clearly the options and issues, give time for advice to be considered and further questions to be asked. They can also involve independent financial advisers with specialist knowledge in care funding and benefits if required.

Certainly thinking ahead is a good idea and avoids the all too common situation where important decisions have to be taken in a rush after a sudden deterioration of health.