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Bloomsburry Family law

Family

IN PRACTICE

Claiming attendance allowance An ombudsman report In this edition we focus on a recent investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman into a complaint made against Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in relation to an elderly couple who had been admitted to a nursing home in the borough.

Care, consent and competence

Many legal advisers who have older clients exercise substituted decision making powers, either as attorneys under enduring powers, or as receivers. These powers do not, however, enable decisions about medical or personal care to be made by attorneys or receivers in respect of individuals who lack mental capacity. Where such decisions have to be made - sometimes as a matter of life and death, sometimes as a matter of day to day management - the law is often misunderstood.

The honest choice

In 1991//92 we were members of what was known as, The Shortfall Monitoring Group, this comprised of interested bodies including Age Concern, Care home proprietors and social services monitoring the effect and consequences of the level of income support being inadequate to fund the fees of residential accommodation. On the one hand it aimed to provide support for individuals and their families, who were under pressure to top up fees, facing the threat of eviction, downgrading of accommodation or use of personal allowances and remaining capital to fund fees. On the other hand it monitored the closure of care homes forced out of business by accommodating elderly people at below market rates

Provision for Elderly Children on Death: What, No Moral Obligation!

Claims by adult children for financial provision from the estates of their parents are frequently met by the answer: you are an adult and under no disability: to succeed, you must establish a moral obligation or other special circumstance: you cannot do so and your claim is bound to fail. see Coventry, deceased (1980) Ch 461 and Jennings, deceased (1994) Ch 286. Is it right to put such a gloss on sections 2 and 3 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Act) and, of particular importance to readers of this journal, does any such limitation apply to the elderly child?

Bournewood and Beyond

The House of Lords decision in the case of L v Bournewood Community and Mental Health Trust1 may have been met with a sigh of relief by professionals working in the mental health field2, but anyone expecting a return to the pre Court of Appeal position is likely to be disappointed

Forum: Top Up Fees

We have received numerous letters over the past two weeks asking us to comment on an article within the Money Go Round section of the Sunday Telegraph (21/6/98). The article by Paul Lewis is entitled Payment gap threatens the old recounts the tale of an elderly care home resident who has a small pension and capital that originally totalled £30,000 and is now around £16,000. The lady in question had been funding her own care home fees of just under £300 per week.

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