Book Review: A Practical Guide to Elderly Law

 In Book Reviews for Private Client practitioners, Elderly/Vulnerable Client

Disclaimer: LawSkills provides training for the legal industry and does not provide legal advice to members of the public. For help or guidance please seek the services of a qualified practitioner.

Published by Law Brief Publishing  |  Author: Justin Patten

Book reviewThis is the first edition of ‘A Practical Guide to Elderly Law’. As the title suggests, this publication is a practical guide to the main areas of the law which will assist Practitioners in advising their elderly clients on a day to day basis.

Purpose of the book

The aim of the author Justin Patten, as he states in the preface, ‘is to explore some of the key issues within the elderly client legal arena and helping lawyers, other experts come up with practical solutions to help the people they work with.’

Content

This publication has been written to a good standard and reflects the author’s expertise. The book covers topics such as the validity of Wills, gives an updated review of the Ilott case, residential care fees, bringing Executors into account and dealing with fraud with regard to Lasting Powers of Attorney and Estates. The book also covers Inheritance Disputes, Trusts, Mental Capacity and Mediation. The chapters are topical and broad in nature.

Free LawSkills Newsletter

If you like our articles, why not subscribe to our free monthly newsletter with regular Private Client news, views and advice from leading legal minds. It's quick, easy and you can unsubscribe at any time if you no longer want to receive it.

Sign Up Now

Structure and Layout

The book is divided into ten chapters with two appendices. Each chapter has sub-headings which make it easy for the reader to locate a particular topic within a subject.  There are highlighted points within each chapter, entitled ‘Tips’ which really focus the Practitioner on the key issues of each subject.

The first section of the book takes the reader through assessing the validity of a Will and the practice (chapter 1), Inheritance Claims (chapter 2) and Executors (chapter 3) which deal succinctly with the law and main cases with regard to these topics.  References are made to Kenward v Adams [1975] (‘the golden rule’) to Brennan v Prior [2013 EWHC 287 (ch) which provides a useful illustration of how the Courts assess claims that a Testator lacked knowledge or did not approve of the contents of his or her Will. Chapter 2, ‘Inheritance Claims,’ is particularly useful and navigates the reader through what makes a successful inheritance claim and the steps to take before commencing legal action to overturn a Will, with useful commentary on Larke v Nugus letters and the timetable for legal proceedings.

Chapter 4 gives a summary of what is a trust and the different types of trust and highlights key problem areas and the focuses of litigation. There is a useful section on ways to attack the conduct of an errant trustee which deals with the relevant legislation and legal ways to remove a trustee. The mid-section of the book covers Care Fees (Chapter 5), Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) (Chapter 6) and Mental Capacity (Chapter 7). There is a particularly useful resume in Chapter 5 of the main points with regard to NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Continuing Care and advice on how to challenge a decision. The key issues of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are also considered in focused points within Chapter 7 on ‘Mental Capacity’. These two topics Practitioners of elder law will find of real use. With an aging population, Practitioners are dealing with more clients who suffer from dementia and other complex medical conditions.

An area of ‘criminal activity’ which Practitioners are noticing is on the increase is fraud with regard to Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate. In Chapter 8 (LPA and Probate Fraud), the author highlights retired Court of Protection Judge, Denzil Lush’s comments in 2017 about the risks of making LPAs and his preferred route of the deputyship as an alternate. The author sets out succinctly what the Practitioner can do when he or she becomes aware that financial fraud may be occurring with regard to the management of a person’s affairs under a LPA or EPA or during the administration of an estate. Chapters 9 and 10 cover Mediation with good sections on how it works and how it contrasts with other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. There is a useful list of mediators at Appendix 1 and a Sample Mediation Agreement at Appendix 2.

Tools

The first edition proves to be a ‘very handy guide’ for the Practitioner who advises the older client. The book covers a broad range of topics well.

Clarity and Readability

This is a book which explores the key issues of elder law and is written in an informative and clear way. I particularly like the concise and no-nonsense approach of the book.

LawSkills training event

Understand the scope and scale of the issues in acting for elderly and vulnerable people

Gill Steel training course: 8 March 2018

Winchester: £349 + VAT  |  Find out more

Tools

The first edition proves to be a ‘very handy guide’ for the Practitioner who advises the older client. The book covers a broad range of topics well.

Clarity and Readability

This is a book which explores the key issues of elder law and is written in an informative and clear way. I particularly like the concise and no-nonsense approach of the book.

Free LawSkills Newsletter

If you like our articles, why not subscribe to our free monthly newsletter with regular Private Client news, views and advice from leading legal minds. It's quick, easy and you can unsubscribe at any time if you no longer want to receive it.

Sign Up Now
Recommended Posts
Case Summary from LawSkills | Private Client specialist trainersCase Summary from LawSkills | Private Client specialist trainers