Personal Law

You will, I hope, have already read Lindsay Watson and Nur Hemsi’s blogs last week which coincided with Dementia Awareness Week. Lindsay highlighted the importance of getting a power of attorney in place. Nur reflected on her attendance at the Alzheimer Scotland Conference and touched on some of the softer skills that are required in terms of supporting individuals and their families during potentially difficult times.

Supporting Dementia

Dementia is a subject close to many of our hearts – both professionally and personally. We come across many individuals at different stages of dementia and are very closely involved in assisting and supporting their carers and families. In addition many of us have family members and friends who are touched by the disease.

Susanne Batchelor - Dementia Awareness WeekWe keep in close contact with individuals at Alzheimer Scotland. We were delighted to take a table at the recent Women in Scotland Lunch which this year supported Alzheimer Scotland. This was a fantastic gathering for females across the country and there were some very inspirational speakers including Viv Lumsden – Former STV and BBC Scotland presenter, Journalist and Radio Host, Professor Dame Sue Black SBE, FRSE- Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, University of Dundee, The Rt. Hon. Ruth Davidson MSP – Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and Diane Goldberg – Trustee, Alzheimer Scotland.

To coincide with Dementia Awareness Week we were delighted to have our monthly dress down day in support of Alzheimer Scotland and were able to raise some funds. Individuals at the firm are encouraged to dress down once a month and suggest a chosen charity and have raised some funds.

Empathy

Our own individual experiences are helpful for us in dealing with those that require assistance. I am able to call on my own personal experience with my mother who died just over 2 years ago. Prior to her death she suffered for a number of years with Alzheimer’s disease and towards the end of her life this was very advanced. This brought great challenges to the family. I am able to fully understand the upset, exhaustion and heart break that families have to cope with during such difficult times.

Our staff have also been keen to get actively involved in the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Friends initiative. Many of our staff are Dementia Friends. This means that when individuals and families deal with our staff they have the assurance that they will be dealt with in a sympathetic and understanding manner.

Be prepared

From a legal point of view the key is to plan for matters in advance. The key legal documents to have in place are a person’s will and power of attorney. It is important that a will is up to date when an individual still has capacity to give these instructions.

In addition it can be equally as important to get a power of attorney in place. This allows the individual to choose who will deal with their affairs and to have the peace of mind that matters are all in place. Having a power of attorney avoids the potential hassle, upset and significant cost if it was not otherwise in place.

Should you personally or on behalf of a family member require advice in this area then please contact Susanne Batchelor or your usual Brodies contact.

Susanne Batchelor

Partner at Brodies LLP
Susanne is a Partner specialising in private client work, an area to which she is dedicated and thoroughly enjoys. She advises on a variety of asset protection matters including wills, estate and succession planning, inheritance tax advice, formation, guardianship and intervention orders, planning for nursing home care costs and the administration of executries.
Susanne Batchelor