Book review of A Practical Guide to Elderly Law (2nd Edition)

 In Book Reviews for Private Client practitioners, LPAs, Probate, Trusts, Wills

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A Practical Guide to Elderly Law (2nd Edition) by Justin PattenThis is a book review by Gill Steel of A Practical Guide to Elderly Law (2nd Edition) by Justin Patten and published by Law Brief Publishing

Purpose

The author, Justin Patten, aims to provide an accessible read for lawyers and people interested in the area of elderly law and includes new material on executors and how to remove them and more information on fraud and undue influence. The book reflects the law as at 1 March 2021.

Content

There are 10 chapters over 191 pages covering:

  1. Will validity
  2. Inheritance claims
  3. Executors – challenging executors
  4. Removal of executors
  5. Trusts
  6. Lasting Powers of Attorney
  7. Mental capacity
  8. LPA, Will and Probate fraud
  9. Mediation: introduction and law
  10. Practical use of mediation for the adviser and the client

There is a small section on acting as a Deputy within chapter 8, a topic which almost deserves a chapter of its own. There is a litigation slant to the book and so it contains advice on taking or not taking legal proceedings and if you do, it provides the issues around aiming for a successful outcome.

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Structure & Layout

Each chapter comprises a series of topics under sub-headings and has helpful Tips included in the text. Footnotes are sometimes used for technical points. There is a table of contents but no index so sometimes finding a topic covered in a sub-heading might be tricky.

Tools

The text contains useful checklists and practical tips throughout.

Clarity & readability

Given the range of content the writing is succinct and practical. It is easily readable and a handy book to slip into a pocket or briefcase to remind the practitioner of the salient points perhaps before a mediation or before meeting with a client.

Relevance to practitioners

This book is helpful to non-contentious practitioners as it highlights the way a litigator might view the same issues and where the points of contention might appear. It is also helpful to a litigator not familiar with elderly client law but who needs to apply the CPR to a question affecting an older client.

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