Solicitors For The Elderly – more than a name?
‘Solicitors For The Elderly’ – what does it mean?
If you’ve been looking for legal help for an elderly person you’ve probably seen there are lawyers who describe themselves as solicitors for the elderly. Sometimes it just means they aim some of their services at older people, but don’t be fooled – there are only certain kinds of lawyers who can genuinely decribe themselves as ‘Solicitors For The Elderly’.
Solicitors For The Elderly is a national organisation for legal professionals (solicitors, barristers and legal executives). To join they have to show specialist expertise in issues that affect older people and their families.
Members of Solicitors For The Elderly (SFE) have to demonstrate their competence in what is sometimes described as ‘elder law’ and have a number of years practical experience before they are admitted as full members. They also have to commit to on-going professional training and a code of practice.
I’ve been a full member of Solicitors For The Elderly since the early years of the organisation when I realised that to be able to give my older clients and their families the level of expertise they need it wasn’t enough just to be qualified as a solicitor. The laws and regulations that specifically affect older people have increased and become more complex which means that professionals working in this legal area need specialised skills and the public needs to be able to identify that expertise.
SFE promotes the education and training of its members. It has also become over the last few years a voice championing the rights of the elderly and disabled and regularly makes representations to national and local government about legislation and practices that affect older people.
I became a Regional Co-ordinator for Solicitors For The Elderly in 2007 and one of the roles of the SFE regional co-ordinators is to raise public awareness of SFE and what the regional groups do. We give talks and advice sessions to community groups and charity supporters and work with other professionals who are involved in similar fields as well as supporting our own members to continue to build their knowledge.
Why choose to use a member of Solicitors For The Elderly?
Older people and their families increasingly face multiple problems these days. It’s a fact that not enough people plan ahead for old age and even those who do find it difficult to anticipate all the difficulties they might run up against. What is needed is someone who can find solutions and help to remove obstacles for the families involved.
Here’s what you need to know
Solicitors For The Elderly only permits its logo to be used by individuals who are members of the organisation. The emphasis is on the individual who must have the necessary expertise, not on the company or organisation offering services to older people. Members of SFE can be identified as qualified elder law specialists, so look out for the logo and if you’re in doubt as to whether you’re dealing with a member of Solicitors For The Elderly or not, then ask to see confirmation or check the SFE website www.solicitorsfortheelderly.com.