None of us likes to consider that there may be a time when we will lose the ability to make our own decisions. However, sudden accident or illness can strike at any time, or we may undergo a slower dimming of our mental capacity because of a progressive illness. Gary F. Rycroft, a Solicitor & Partner at Joseph A. Jones & Co Solicitors advises below:
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document by which you may appoint another person or persons to make decisions for you should you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
There are two types of LPA. One type empowers the named attorney(s) to make decisions regarding your property and financial affairs....
The excitement of Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier with adverts and shops marketing their products before bonfire night and even Halloween. The children are getting more and more excited knowing Christmas is just around the corner.
Unfortunately, for many families this is a time of dread and worry. How am I going to afford this? What if I can't get the presents the children want? How will I manage? These are some of the thoughts that many families are thinking as they feel the financial pinch. Knowing how to plan a Christmas on a budget may help ease some of the concerns you have. We have prepared some tips that you may find helpful.
Deidre Sanders, Family Lives Patron and Problem Page Editor at The Sun, has produced a guide for families who are feeling pinch in these difficult economic times.
The guide, called 'Tough times', provides simple, practical advice and signposts to other support organisations.
With rising prices, spending cuts and pressure on jobs meaning many families are feeling the pinch. It’s extra challenging when a family is facing special hardship because of bereavement, illness or accident.
This guide will help you protect your relationships and family life against fortune’s knocks, and it explains where to find understanding support and practical help.
Rights and redress
Most of us don't want to do battle at a time when we feel vulnerable or under stress. Conflicts may arise when arranging help or care for an older person during of after an emergency, when everyone involved is stressed. So how to get what you are entitled to without creating extra difficulties?
If you need care, you are generally entitled to a free professional assessment of your needs by your local council, and either a detailed plan for the services it will provide to meet them, or an explanation of why it will not. If the assessment advises moving to a care home, you have the choice whether to follow this advice. If you do decide to move, you have some choice about the home even if the council is helping...
Increasingly, more grown-up kids are living at home in their twenties and thirties. Many leave college or university heavily in debt and that, taken with the high cost of borrowing, means many are taking far longer to be in a position to buy their own home. So where else can they live but with mum and dad? It might sound like a great idea at first, particularly for parents who are still trying to adjust to the ‘empty nest’. But this situation can put severe financial and emotional pressure on families. It also delays children becoming independent and taking real responsibility for their adult lives.
Tensions often start when ‘Boomerang Kids’, who return to live at home after university, expect things to be the same as they were before they went away. Parents tell Family...
- Don’t feel under pressure to spend money on the kids – your time is more important to them. Just staying at home and doing simple and free activities like drawing or painting at the table together or playing Lego are great and free ways of spending quality time with the kids. If the weather’s OK, you could take them out for a walk or go to the local park. With older kids, contact your local council to find out if they do any heavily subsidised or free sporting activities.
- Find out if there are any relatively low-cost afterschool activities like cubs or brownies in your area. You could ask other parents at school if you aren’t sure if such a group exists locally. These are usually relatively low cost, although there is an initial outlay on uniform. You could also head to...
- Compare prices in different shops – this can add up to good savings. One way of doing this is via comparison websites, which list the prices of goods bought online or on the high street. Shopping online can be cheaper than the high street. You can also buy good quality ‘as new’ clothes – and second hand goods – on websites like eBay.
- Make a quick list of what you need to buy and how much you are prepared to spend before you head out to the shops, to avoid shopping on impulse.
- Look out for store loyalty card schemes, where you can collect points and use them to buy items when you get to a certain number.
- If you want an excuse for a cheap get-together with friends and a chance to get some new clothes for free then think about organising...
For a lot of people, the higher costs of fuel, the end of cheap, fixed-rate mortgages and lower incomes has meant a squeeze on the amount of money you have to look after your family. If you are struggling to cope it is vital to take that first step in asking for help. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
- You need to open the post. You need to prioritise which debts are most important (if you don’t pay your mortgage you can lose your home) and ensure you are paying what you can afford.
- It helps to get support and advice. Anyone struggling with their mortgage or any housing problem should contact Shelter's free housing advice line on 0808 800 4444.
- For all other bills, you can get in touch with your supplier and make voluntary arrangements. Don’t...
The summer holidays are upon us - and chances are if you’re a working parent, you’ll be worrying over your childcare plans.
According to research by the national childcare charity Daycare Trust, finding affordable childcare during the summer break is one of the biggest headaches for parents. Yet because of the lack of places and the high cost, most parents don’t actually organise their summer childcare until a few weeks beforehand. Hardly surprising, when full-time holiday childcare averages at about Ј90 per child per week. Even if the price doesn’t scare you off, there’s always a shortage of places – which means most of us end up taking unpaid leave and using most of our annual holiday entitlement to be with our kids, maybe supplemented by a bit of help here and there from...
Research shows that many young grandparents are caught in a poverty trap as they try and juggle their own working life with caring for their grandchildren.
Many still have children of their own to care for – others are looking after elderly parents AND caring for grandchildren at the same time. This leaves them struggling to fit in work - and they’re not eligible for paid childcare help. There are now 1.5 million grandparents in the UK under the age of 55 and the numbers are increasing rapidly.
A recent survey by Grandparents Plus showed that working age grandmothers on low incomes are the ones most likely to be providing childcare. They struggle to find jobs offering flexible hours and are caught in a trap where they have to give up hours at work in order to look after...
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