How to start planning for your future care needs: get the right support and legal advice in an hour
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Planning for the future and the care you may need is a daunting task. To make sense of it all and to start you on the right path, Birkett Long Solicitors offers its elderly care advice service.
Local Colchester resident, Doreen, explained what happened when she went to a meeting with her granddaughter to find the legal help she needed.
Taking the first step
Speaking with a legal professional can arm you with the tools and knowledge you need for later life.
'I've not had to think about these things before. It's hard to tell what information I should pay attention to and what's not relevant to me,' said Doreen.
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'I wanted to talk to someone that could help me understand and outline some clear steps that I could take to start getting things sorted.'
At Birkett Long, you can attend a one-off meeting for a fee of £300 and after the hour leave with advice about how to make arrangements for the care you need, apply for financial assistance and protect your assets and estate.
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The financial aid you didn't know was available
Doreen said: 'As I'm a homeowner, I expected that I wouldn't be entitled to anything. Turns out I'm eligible for attendance allowance - a weekly contribution that helps me to pay for support for my independent living.'
'After the meeting I knew where I needed to go and how I could apply for the financial support - which is exactly what I did. The money is allowing me to remain in my home for longer and has eased my granddaughter's worry.'
Making legal arrangements for the future
Understanding what legal protection you may need in the future - in case of ill health or no longer being able to make your own decisions - can be confusing.
A legal professional can recommend what to do in these scenarios and what plans you can make.
'They explained why it's important to make arrangements now - like appointing a power of attorney - to help prepare me and my family for the worst-case scenario,' Doreen said.
'This way if something happens and I no longer have the mental capacity to make legal decisions, someone else that I chose, will already have my permission to act on my behalf and help me with my finances and to make the care plan decisions I may need.'
Find the best solution for you
'It was good for me to air my concerns about money and have someone explain the options on offer,' Doreen said. 'My granddaughter also came into the meeting and they were able to provide her information and advice about my situation that put her mind at rest.'
A legal professional can point you in the direction of services available in your local area.
'I also discovered that the first six weeks in a care home can sometimes be free of charge,' she said.
'It's good to know ahead of time as it may help me to save money that I can put towards other things I might need.'
Putting your mind at ease
'After the meeting I felt like a weight has lifted from my mind and my granddaughter, and the rest of my family, were put at ease because I could tell them I was going to be alright,' Doreen said.
'When first trying to make sense of this, I found it overwhelming. It was like trying to find my way through a jungle. There's a lot of information out there, but a lot of it is contradictory and leaves you confused with no idea where to turn or who to trust.'
'The money I've received since then has made an enormous difference, I'm able to continue living independently in my home for now and feel confident that I've got all the plans in place that I need and don't need to burden my family with that responsibility.'
Book an appointment today
To make planning for later life easier, for yourself or for a loved one, consider seeking legal professional advice and make sure you have access to all the help you're entitled to.
Call 01206 203869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation. Visit birkettlong.co.uk to see what other Birkett Long clients have to say about their experience and discover three things you didn't know about planning for elderly care.