Higher Profile in Scotland for Solicitors for the Elderly
Balfour+Manson partner Shona Brown has welcomed a higher profile in Scotland for lawyers who provide high-quality legal services for older people.
Shona is an accredited member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), which offers training and best practice advice for lawyers who specialise in assisting older and more vulnerable clients. SFE has launched its services officially in Scotland this week, with the aim of recruiting more members to help support elderly and vulnerable people and to communicate the importance of seeking specialist legal advice.
SFE is a not-for-profit organisation open to solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives advising on areas including wills and powers of attorney. To become a fully accredited member, lawyers must have a minimum of three years’ experience advising in areas of older client law and have completed the Older Client Care in Practice Award – an assessment which demonstrates the specialist client care skills that enable lawyers to advise and support older and vulnerable clients.
Shona, who has been a member of SFE since 2014, said: “Balfour+Manson has an excellent track record in this field, with our lawyers supported by the Client Welfare Team to provide a broader care and advice service to elderly clients.
“Rather than bringing in outside specialists when client needs go beyond the law, we can do it all as our Client Welfare Team - Jo Downie and Fiona Shand - are an integral part of our team.
“Their backgrounds are in nursing and social work, so we can provide a holistic service tailored to each client. With an ageing population, this kind of work is increasingly important - because family and friends are sometimes unable to provide the support older and more vulnerable people need.
“We can put financial and legal plans in place which allow clients to express their wishes for future care, knowing that Jo and Fiona will ensure they are safe, supported and well cared-for."
Shona concluded: "Our expertise means that specialist bodies like Solicitors for the Elderly are a natural fit for us and hopefully, the heightened focus for the organisation in Scotland will allow us to help even more elderly and vulnerable clients enjoy a decent quality of life in their later years.”
Elspeth Paget, Regional Coordinator for SFE in Scotland, said: “Our sector is becoming increasingly important as the UK’s population gets older and professional memberships like SFE, which distinguish lawyers who provide the highest level of specialist legal care and support, are needed more now than ever."
SFE was launched in 1996 and has around 1500 members. The main areas covered by SFE lawyers are: Powers of Attorney; making a will; living wills; probate; will disputes; tax planning; asset preservation; trusts; paying for care; NHS continuing care funding; Court of Protection; elder abuse.