Solicitors for the elderly establish practice group

Solicitors who specialise in advising the elderly have established a practice group designed to set standards, and are aiming to get elected in July to the executive of the Law Society's planned Probate Practitioners' Section (PPS).

The new group, Solicitors for the Elderly, also overlaps with the work of the existing Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Step).

The new group's chairman Anne Edis, a senior solicitor at Leicester City Council, accepted the overlap with both Step and PPS, but stressed: “The group is complementary rather than competitive. Having seen the results of good, bad and indifferent advice in this area, there is a clear need for the PPS, Step and this new group.”

Danny Carter of Gepp & Sons in Chelmsford, Michael Collier of Cole & Cole in Oxford, Richard Smithies of Bearders in Brighouse, Yorkshire, and Jan Wright of Radcliffes in London, will be putting themselves forward for the election which will establish the PPS executive committee in July.

With the number of elderly people in the UK increasing rapidly, legal advice for the old is becoming a growing market.

In a policy statement issued last week, Solicitors for the Elderly said it aimed to provide and promote a range of legal services for older people, their families and carers. Its key objectives are to develop expertise and to raise standards in this area of practice, including financial planning and long-term care. The group will also promote best practice by training and networking.

A steering committee was set up last year, members of which will speak at a workshop session at the PPS's inaugural conference on 7 July.

Peter Raymond, chair of the Probate Section Advisory Group, which is helping set up the PPS, and Geoffrey Shindler, president of Step, both said they welcomed the formation of Solicitors for the Elderly. Raymond said he had a “close working relationship” with it, and Shindler said some of the group's members were also members of Step. He added that the group would be complementary to his own, multi-disciplinary, broader-based society.