The challenges of the Sandwich generation

The challenges of the Sandwich generation

The challenges of the Sandwich generation
The challenges of the Sandwich generation 1

Written by Sebastian Elwell

May 20, 2020

The challenges of the Sandwich generation 2

The challenges of the ‘Sandwich’ generation

Children growing up and sitting exams; parents requiring more care and attention; trying to keep your career on track – these are the challenges of the so-called ‘Sandwich’ generation. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’re either already in this situation or you can see it looming on the horizon. It can be an extremely difficult time of life – and even more so if you have legal responsibilities to someone you love.

Acting as an attorney for a loved one

As people become more aware of the importance of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) well before it’s needed, there has been an increase in the number of people taking on those attorney duties. This is a positive thing, because it’s vitally important that someone – or more than one person – trusted by the individual is looking after their affairs. Trying to do so after the individual’s competence to make decisions has gone is extremely complicated, so it is always best to make your LPA – both for health and finances – as early as possible.

There are a number of legal responsibilities for an attorney, and these responsibilities must be taken seriously and carried out appropriately. These include:

·      Always acting in the best interests of the individual

·      Taking reasonable care when making decisions on the individual’s behalf

·      Acting in accordance with the terms and direction of the relevant LPA

·      Involving the individual in decisions wherever practical and reasonable

Making life easier

There are a range of challenges involved with being an attorney for a loved one. The biggest of these is having to make difficult decisions when you are so personally involved in the care of that individual or the outcome of any decision you make. Add in the fact that these are often complex financial or difficult health decisions, and it’s easy to see why things can become stressful.

To add to this pressure, there is often more than one attorney appointed. This might be another family member, or it might be a professional attorney like a solicitor. This is a good thing from the perspective of the individual – it’s an added layer of protection – but it can make it trickier to organise practical things, particularly if the attorneys are not in the same location. Sharing paperwork and keeping track of finances becomes more complicated and can result in additional friction or stress.

Sandwich generation attorneys can use technology to help them manage this part of their lives. Applications like Switchfoot Teams (our preferred financial planning portal for attorneys) allow attorneys – and other relevant professionals – to have oversight of key finances, and to access important documents like the full LPA, share certificates, insurance documents and more. Easy to set up, easy to use and the ideal way to keep a handle on all the different areas you may need to cover as an attorney, this technology can help to manage at least one of the responsibilities you have.

To find out more, speak to us today.

Switchfoot Wealth Limited Independent Financial Adviser
There are a range of challenges involved with being an attorney for a loved one. The biggest of these is having to make difficult decisions when you are so personally involved in the care of that individual or the outcome of any decision you make.

Sandwich generation attorneys can use technology to help them manage this part of their lives

– Sebastian Ewell

Switchfoot Wealth Founder

Read more about Switchfoot Wealth

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SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is an appointed representative of Sense Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is entered on the Financial Services register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference number 808196.
Registered Address: 28 Upper Hale Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 0NS. Registered in England & Wales No.: 11220173.
The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services business aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

What is a financial plan and why business owners need one

What is a financial plan and why business owners need one

What is a financial plan and why business owners need one
What is a financial plan and why business owners need one 3

Written by Sebastian Elwell

May 20, 2020

A personal financial plan is the foundation from which you build your business plan. Business owners need to know what they must achieve from their business to deliver the lifestyle they are seeking.
Switchfoot Wealth Limited Independent Financial Adviser

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​The Personal Finance Society Awards The PFS asked me to create a short blog and video about the PFS awards.  Here are my top tips for awards entries.  Original blog can be found on the PFS site here.   If you are interested in joining us on our mission please...

I started Switchfoot Wealth to offer financial planning that matches the way we live and work today. Using the best technology and offering expertise gained through both formal qualifications and years of working closely with clients, we are bringing financial planning into the 21st century, helping people, businesses and professional advisers make the most of their time and their money.

– Sebastian Ewell

Switchfoot Wealth Founder

Read more about Switchfoot Wealth

SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is an appointed representative of Sense Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is entered on the Financial Services register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference number 808196.
Registered Address: 28 Upper Hale Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 0NS. Registered in England & Wales No.: 11220173.
The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services business aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Cashflow Planning

Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Cashflow Planning

Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Cashflow Planning
Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Cashflow Planning 4

Written by Sebastian Elwell

May 20, 2020

Mental Capacity Act 2005 & Cashflow Planning 5

Cashflow planning and the 5 Principles of the Mental Capacity Act.

Cashflow planning turns often complex calculations into a set of interactive and visually engaging infographics. Cashflow planning can be used to support vulnerable clients and help their appointed attorneys/deputies meet their obligations under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 when making financial decisions.

 

Principles 1 & 2 – A presumption of Capacity (1) and Individuals being supported to make their own decisions (2)

Every adult has the right to make their own decisions and we must assume they have the capacity to do so unless proved otherwise. You cannot assume lack of capacity just because of a particular diagnosis or disability. Capacity is decision-specific; it may fluctuate between lack of capacity and lucid periods. An individual may have capacity over some decisions but not others.

The law is clear: a person must be given all practical help to make their own decisions before they are treated as lacking capacity. This means that attorneys/deputies should make every effort to encourage and support people to make the decision for themselves.

Cashflow planning can help with supported decision making – a case study

Paul has mobility problems and some cognitive impairment arising from a brain injury. His solicitor acts as his court-appointed Deputy.

Paul wishes to purchase a new motorised wheelchair and wants a top of the range model for £20,000. An older version of the same chair is available secondhand for £5,000. Both Paul and his solicitor agree he needs a new chair. The deputy will need to help Paul weigh a range of considerations and decide which chair he should get. Paul and his solicitor may consider any differences in performance, aesthetics, affordability, and so on.

Paul, his deputy, and his financial adviser previously had a cashflow plan. The financial adviser gave Paul access to his plan via a VoyantGo licence. The Deputy is able to log in and create a few ‘What if’ scenarios. A brief discussion with the financial adviser results in charts that show the effect on affordability.

Paul may not be in a position to understand all of the calculations involved but he may be perfectly capable of understanding the potential financial effect of his purchase decision as modelled by the ‘What if’ scenarios.

Paul and his Deputy are now in a better position to take account of the financial implications of the decision. The Deputy is making every effort to support Paul in the decision and involving him as much as possible.

Principle 3 – Unwise Decisions

People have the right to make unwise decisions. You cannot treat someone as lacking capacity because you disagree with their decision or think it unwise. Everyone has their own values and preferencesand may apply different weight to these values.

Returning to our case study, the Deputy believes that buying the £20,000 chair is too risky and jeopardises the long-term affordability of his client’s financial affairs, but perhaps Paul sees it differently: he wants to maximise quality of life and places greater weight on the non-financial factors than the Deputy does and so opts for the more expensive chair, despite the concerns over affordability.

The Deputy can take notes on the decision and keep the ‘What if’ scenarios on file, showing that they carefully considered affordability explain the reasoning behind the ultimate decision.

Principle 4 – Best Interests

Anything done for, or on behalf of, a person who lacks mental capacity must be done in their best interests.

One of the fundamental aspects of Voyant is ‘The Timeline’. This is a great opportunity to document the key milestones, goals and objectives for Paul. Financial decisions can be weighed against their effect on his ability to meet these goals and objectives. Cashflow planning can help show which course of action is likely to be in his best interest.

Principle 5 – Least Restrictive Option

Someone making a decision or acting on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must consider if it is possible to  decide or act in a way that would interfere less with the person’s rights and freedoms of action.

In respect of managing ongoing financial affairs, it is helpful for attorneys or deputies to consider if it is possible to leave some control of arrangements to Paul. The question is, how much?

Cashflow modelling can be used by the attorneys or deputy to consider a range of scenarios.  What if it all goes wrong, and Paul over-spends? After all, he may have some capacity to make some unwise decisions, but cannot manage all of his finances over a longer term.

The Deputy may choose to set up a separate account for Paul to manage and control how much cash is transferred into it. Cashflow planning can give the deputy or attorney the confidence to take a less restrictive approach to management of the finances and leave as much control as possible and sensible with Paul.

To find out more about how cashflow planning can assist deputies and attorneys to inform their clients and allow the best decisions to be made in light of capacity, you can always contact my team and me at Switchfoot Wealth.

Switchfoot Wealth Limited Independent Financial Adviser

I started Switchfoot Wealth to offer financial planning that matches the way we live and work today. Using the best technology and offering expertise gained through both formal qualifications and years of working closely with clients, we are bringing financial planning into the 21st century, helping people, businesses and professional advisers make the most of their time and their money.

– Sebastian Ewell

Switchfoot Wealth Founder

Read more about Switchfoot Wealth

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SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is an appointed representative of Sense Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is entered on the Financial Services register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference number 808196.
Registered Address: 28 Upper Hale Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 0NS. Registered in England & Wales No.: 11220173.
The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services business aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Are you meeting your safeguarding duties?

Are you meeting your safeguarding duties?

Are you meeting your safeguarding duties?
Are you meeting your safeguarding duties? 6

Written by Sebastian Elwell

May 20, 2020

Are you meeting your safeguarding duties? 7

This blog was first published by Lawskills and has been replicated in part here, the original article is available on the following link

https://www.lawskills.co.uk/articles/2019/05/attorneys-safeguarding-duties-help/

 

Are you meeting your safeguarding duties?

In December 2018, high street bank Santander was fined nearly £33m for failing to pass on the assets of deceased customers to their personal representatives and beneficiaries. In some cases, said the Financial Conduct Authority, the bank failed to realise that the deceased customer had multiple accounts. So if the beneficiaries and representatives were also unaware, the money was never released by the bank.

A separate case, re: MM, highlights the potential difficulties of a situation where two attorneys, appointed jointly and severally – one of whom is a solicitor. In theory, this is a sensible arrangement; there is both an attorney with a personal connection to the individual, and an attorney who understands the relevant legal responsibilities and constraints and can ensure that the attorneyship is correctly managed.

In the case of MM, however, financial abuse occurred, and that abuse would have been noticed sooner had the professional attorney sought access to financial statements, or had established a better understanding of the relationships of the donor and her family, only one of which had been appointed as attorney.

Talking about the law as it applied to this case, District Judge Batten referred to paragraph 7.59 of the Code of Practice to the MCA 2005, which states:

“Duty of care’ means applying a certain standard of care and skill – depending on whether the attorney is paid for their services or holds relevant professional qualifications…. If attorneys are being paid for their services, they should demonstrate a higher degree of care & skill. Attorneys who undertake their duties in the course of their professional work (such as solicitors….) must display professional competence and follow their profession’s rules and standards.”

The Judge ruled that the Property and Financial Affairs LPA should be wholly revoked and a panel Deputy appointed. The solicitor was responsible for their own costs incurred by the case, and jointly responsible for the Official Solicitor’s costs and any other reasonable costs arising.

The importance of safeguarding

Both these cases show a need for all attorneys to have clear, real-time oversight over the individuals’ financial matters, and the case of MM shows how important it is for professional attorneys to not only understand the law, but apply it strictly and in the individual’s interests. Attorneys cannot simply add the individual to a long list of clients and hope that everything goes smoothly. Attorneyships are often made and used in times of stress and can bring significant complications. It is the duty of a professional attorney to do everything they can to administer an estate wholly in the interests of an individual and to guide any other attorneys accordingly.

Partnering with Switchfoot Teams

Switchfoot Wealth has partnered with Switchfoot Teams to provide access to the Switchfoot Teams portal which has been developed to meet the needs of attorneys, deputies and trustees.

To find out more, contact us today.

Switchfoot Wealth Limited Independent Financial Adviser

I started Switchfoot Wealth to offer financial planning that matches the way we live and work today. Using the best technology and offering expertise gained through both formal qualifications and years of working closely with clients, we are bringing financial planning into the 21st century, helping people, businesses and professional advisers make the most of their time and their money.

– Sebastian Ewell

Switchfoot Wealth Founder

Read more about Switchfoot Wealth

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​The Personal Finance Society Awards The PFS asked me to create a short blog and video about the PFS awards.  Here are my top tips for awards entries.  Original blog can be found on the PFS site here.   If you are interested in joining us on our mission please...

SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is an appointed representative of Sense Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is entered on the Financial Services register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference number 808196.
Registered Address: 28 Upper Hale Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 0NS. Registered in England & Wales No.: 11220173.
The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services business aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Safeguarding plays a vital role in LPA administration – a case study Part 1

Safeguarding plays a vital role in LPA administration – a case study Part 1

Safeguarding plays a vital role in LPA administration – a case study Part 1
Safeguarding plays a vital role in LPA administration – a case study Part 1 8

Written by Sebastian Elwell

May 20, 2020

Safeguarding plays a vital role in LPA administration – a case study Part 1 9

This blog was first published by Lawskills and has been replicated in here, the original article is available on the following link

https://www.lawskills.co.uk/articles/2019/08/safeguarding-in-lpa-administration/

 

Safeguarding plays a vital role in LPA administration – a case study 

John Smith has a fairly complex estate and has recently had a meeting with his financial adviser, who has asked whether he has a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This isn’t the first time his financial adviser has asked the question and John did recently have a work colleague whose wife lost capacity without an LPA in place; he remembers that trying to sort out all the finances and paperwork was incredibly stressful for his colleague.

So he decides that he not only needs to put an LPA in place; he needs to talk to his preferred attorneys to ensure they understand what they are taking on, and that they have access to all the information they need when the time comes.

John chooses a local law firm, and asks them to draft his LPA. He’s nervous because he’s heard that attorneys can take advantage of their powers – particularly over finances – and he wants to make sure that couldn’t happen in his case. He is concerned about losing control of his finances, and about how to make sure his attorneys follow his wishes when they make decisions.

John’s solicitor talks him through the supervision and safeguarding clauses that could be included in his LPA. They discuss the skills and approach that someone in a safeguarding or supervision role would need, and the responsibilities they would have. They also talk about who John might want to appoint as an attorney, and whether they are willing and able to make that commitment. 

What makes a good safeguarder?

  • Someone who you know is trustworthy
  • Someone who has good money-management skills
  • Someone who is a good decision-maker
  • Someone who has the ability to oversee the duties carried out by the attorney
  • Someone who can step in quickly if there is an issue or even a crisis
  • John decides to appoint his niece as his attorney, but in addition he would like a professional to supervise the decisions of the attorney once he has lost capacity, checking regularly that everything seems to be in order, supporting his niece if she is in need of guidance and pre-authorised to report any safeguarding concerns. The solicitor adds clauses to the LPA that allows for this option including a charging clause.

In order to avoid any doubt about over the potential conflict of confidentiality and safeguarding duties, the solicitor asks John to sign an advance consent for permission to disclose confidential information to safeguard him and his property.  John feels confident that he has an extra layer of security in place which will protect him and his finances when he is most vulnerable. 

Maintaining financial transparency

 John then wants to know how he can be sure his attorney’s actions will be transparent. His solicitor suggests Switchfoot Teams, which several of her clients use successfully. An online system, it allows attorneys and designated individuals to see what financial transactions have taken place on a real-time basis. This is a deterrent to financial abuse and ensures that all actions are transparent at all times. Accounts production can be automated and the accounts default to a chart of accounts in line with OPG deputy return, offering the best practice available from modern personal accounting.  John sets up Switchfoot Teams and invites his solicitor into his ‘Team’.

The solicitor recommends that the following clauses be added to John’s LPA:

‘I direct that my attorneys shall provide access to an online system detailing all of my financial accounts to [insert chosen safeguarder]’

‘I direct that my attorneys shall produce summary accounts including a complete transaction history to [insert chosen safeguarder] on a monthly basis.’

Initially John sets up Switchfoot Teams, providing limited access for his attorney.  In years to come, as his ability to manage his affairs decreases, the access level can be increased for his attorney when she needs to support John in his decisions and when she needs to act, providing for a smooth transition. And John can be confident that, if needed, his appointed safeguarder will be able to step in if anything goes wrong. 

Partnering with Switchfoot Teams

Switchfoot Wealth has partnered with Switchfoot Teams to provide access to the Switchfoot Teams portal which has been developed to meet the needs of attorneys, deputies and trustees.

To find out more, contact us today.

Switchfoot Wealth Limited Independent Financial Adviser

I started Switchfoot Wealth to offer financial planning that matches the way we live and work today. Using the best technology and offering expertise gained through both formal qualifications and years of working closely with clients, we are bringing financial planning into the 21st century, helping people, businesses and professional advisers make the most of their time and their money.

– Sebastian Ewell

Switchfoot Wealth Founder

Read more about Switchfoot Wealth

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"I started Switchfoot Wealth to offer financial planning that matches the way we live and work today. Using the best technology and offering expertise gained through both formal qualifications and years of working closely with clients, we are bringing financial...

PFS Awards

​The Personal Finance Society Awards The PFS asked me to create a short blog and video about the PFS awards.  Here are my top tips for awards entries.  Original blog can be found on the PFS site here.   If you are interested in joining us on our mission please...

SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is an appointed representative of Sense Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. SwitchFoot Wealth Limited is entered on the Financial Services register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference number 808196.
Registered Address: 28 Upper Hale Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 0NS. Registered in England & Wales No.: 11220173.
The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services business aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.