Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Helping the elderly face legal issues

Elderly residents in Shropshire nursing homes are being invited to sit down for a cup of tea and a slice of – legal advice.

The scheme has been launched by Martin-Kaye Solicitors, of The Foundry, in Euston Way, Telford, in the wake of increasing concerns about the cost of care.

Fiona Macnamara, from the firm’s Family Team, specialises in issues which affect elderly people, and she has been visiting local nursing homes for an informal chat.

“More and more elderly people are facing the prospect of having to sell their family home to pay for their care, and it’s clear that families are extremely concerned about how they can protect the assets their relative has worked for all their life,” said Fiona.

“We decided to organise a series of coffee mornings at the invitation of several local nursing homes, in order to give residents and their families the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns in a relaxed atmosphere.

“The majority of questions are about wills, estate planning and inheritance tax, and of course about how to deal with the increasing costs families are facing to make sure their relatives are well cared for.

“I don’t make a formal presentation, as it wouldn’t be appropriate, but really it’s just a chat in a comfortable environment which is designed to help put people’s minds at ease.

“We also provide the refreshments for the get-together, to make sure there is no cost to the nursing homes we visit.”

Fiona is currently planning a new round of visits, and is keen to hear from nursing homes who think they would benefit from a similar event.

Pic: Fiona Macnamara (Martin-Kaye Solicitors) with Betty Rawlins and Richard Hughes, at the latest coffee morning and advice session held at Hallcroft Close, Newport

Monday, 16 October 2006

Check the Small Print

Shropshire employers are being warned to check the small print when it comes to terminating staff contracts.

John Mehtam, Employment Law Specialist at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford, said employees leaving a company were often asked to sign a written contract detailing the terms and conditions of their departure.

“The problem is that many companies rely on a standard agreement which applies to all employees.

“This is a dangerous policy, as a general agreement may not provide the level of protection you need for your company.

“Loopholes may mean former employees could start unfair dismissal proceedings, even though they have signed the agreement and banked the severance cheque.”

John said a correctly drafted agreement was essential or companies could face a difficult time.

“Each agreement must be countersigned by a solicitor, and on average I am seeing between five and ten employees a month who have received these documents.

“Many of the agreements have been drafted without legal advice, and in light of some of the latest court judgements, they appear to be almost worthless.

“They need to be drafted carefully, and should set out the individual circumstances for each employee, as well as detailing the legislation covering the termination.”

Friday, 13 October 2006

On Tee for Charity

Financial advisers from across Shropshire are set to learn more about how to protect their clients from crippling divorce settlements.

Nadia Davis, who leads the Family Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, is hosting a seminar at the company’s headquarters at The Foundry, in Euston Way, Telford, on October 26.

“This year has seen some high profile divorce settlements running into millions of pounds, and professional people need to be aware of what kind of impact divorce can have on their business,” said Nadia.

“The landmark cases have changed the way settlements are dealt with, and this has led to the phrase ‘digging for gold’, or ‘greedy wife syndrome’.

“We have decided to invite representatives from the accounting, banking and financial services sectors to our seminar, and share our knowledge to help them learn more about the consequences divorce can have on a person’s finances

“By providing them with key information on this ever-changing subject, we hope it will put the financial specialists at a distinct advantage when they are dealing with clients who are dealing with the fall-out following the breakdown of a relationship.

“Our Family Team have been advising people and guiding them through complex divorce and relationship problems for many years, and in particular, wealthy individuals and business people.

“The Law in this area is very complex and sometimes unpredictable, and the two landmark decisions this year have made legal history, moving the goalposts yet again.

“Our seminar will explain how assets can be legitimately protected, and we will also be sharing information which we are sure will be of benefit to clients in the future.”

Sunday, 1 October 2006

Newsletter Number 14

Issue 14 Front CoverIssue 14 Seal of approval for new office

Our new multi-million pound offices have been officially opened by the "Voice of UK Business".

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