We first began working for Mrs J in 2012 when we prepared a Will for her. Mrs J’s physical health began to deteriorate and she asked us to also prepare her a Lasting Power of Attorney to appoint her good friend and neighbour to look after her finances if she needed help in the future. Unfortunately, Mrs J’s relatives were unhappy with her choice and ultimately, her chosen Attorney decided he didn’t want to take on the role due to the ongoing disputes. Mrs J asked if we would take on the role and assist with looking after her finances and we subsequently prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing two of the Partners in the firm. Mrs J became unable to manage at home and unfortunately moved into residential care in 2013. Mrs J had mental capacity at this time and accordingly, we visited Mrs J regularly to take her instructions as to the sale of the property, her investments and any other matters she wanted our assistance with, such as buying Christmas presents and stocking up on her favourite treats!
Mrs J’s mental health subsequently deteriorated and she was no longer able to provide us with instructions. At this time we began to make decisions in Mrs J’s best interests on her behalf in relation to her finances; managing income, investments and expenditure and making sure Mrs J had spending monies anything else she needed. She could no longer remain in her residential care home and we attended a best interests meeting with her social worker, friends, family and care staff to discuss a move to nursing care. We had kept a record of Mrs J’s wishes whilst she had capacity, it had been very important to her that she remain in close proximity to her good friends and these wishes were therefore taken into account in determining where to move Mrs J to.
Mrs J continued to deteriorate. A short time before she died, we were contacted by Mrs J’s friend with records and photographs as to poor treatment and lack of treatment with dignity in Mrs J’s care home. We raised the issue immediately with Social Services, a formal safeguarding alert was raised and the information sent to the Safeguarding Commissioning Team for investigation. Mrs J’s circumstances and care were improved.
Following Mrs J’s death, we acted as the Executors in the Estate, arranged her funeral, and dealt with her wishes as set out in the Will. Knowing certain gifts had been made in the Will, when we had cleared the property for sale whilst Mrs J was alive, we had retained in safe custody the mementoes she had gifted and so following her death, we were able to pass these on.
Upon finalising the Estate, we received a card from one of Mrs J’s friends which read;
‘thank you so much for looking after Mrs J’s care when it was brought to your attention, your quick action meant Mrs J was able to have her last months being looked after properly’.
A lot of the time, the work we do is not just legal.