Latimer Hinks is expanding its Court of Protection Team.
The firms Court of Protection Contested Estates team provides expert advice to clients on a wide range of issues, primarily concerning mental capacity and vulnerable adults.
The team regularly prepares applications to Court to appoint a nominee - known as a Deputy - to manage the financial affairs or health and welfare of those who lack mental capacity.
They also advise clients in relation to more complex issues including Statutory Wills - where in very particular circumstances the court can make a Will on behalf of those who do not have the required mental capacity. In addition, they advise and assist clients involved in contested applications to the Court, often where families are in conflict.
The Court of Protection team comprises Natalie Palmer, partner in the private client department, who is a Dementia Champion and holds the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) qualification, Daniel Williams and Helen Thomas. Between them they have more than 25 years experience and they are all members of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Helen Thomas has recently become an associate member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), which is an organisation for lawyers specialising in contentious trust, probate and Court of Protection work and is one of only a few lawyers in the North East to gain associate accreditation.
Helen said: "We have an ageing population and the economy is still very much in a state of turmoil. This had led to a huge increase in demand for specialist legal services surrounding Mental Capacity and conflict issues. We recognise this and have a dedicated department that specialises in this type of work.
"The team is part of the larger private client department at the firm advising and assisting in relation to Wills, Trusts, Probate, Tax and Estate Planning and our specialist knowledge of Court of Protection matters enables us to deliver a "boutique service to our clients during what is inevitably a very distressing time.
Anne Elliott, Marketing Partner at Latimer Hinks Solicitors, said: "We have always advised clients on issues surrounding mental capacity and Court of Protection matters and we recognise that demand for these services is increasing.
"This is why we have developed a dedicated team with specialist qualifications. The issues involved are often difficult and sensitive and clients need a compassionate and knowledgeable solicitor to guide when capacity problems and the Court of Protection are involved.