LA0842 - Law and the Elderly Client

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SYNOPSIS OF MODULE

This module is one of the electives available to students during Stage 2 of the Legal Practice Course and forms part of the General Practice route elective group.

The diverse content of this module covers some of the issues relevant to advising the elderly client and will be of interest to any students entering high street practice.

The aim of this module is to provide students with a general understanding of the law and practice involved in advising the elderly client, with particular emphasis on dealing with property and affairs. The legal skills of drafting and practical research are also further developed in a private client context.

The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions, directed and independent learning. The module is assessed by examination.

INDICATIVE READING LIST OR OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES

Reading
Main Text
The Elderly Client Handbook. Gordon R. Ashton. Law Society. Latest Edition
Supplementary Reading
Elderly People and the Law. Gordon R. Ashton. Butterworths’. Latest Edition
Elderly Clients-A Precedent Manual Denzil Lush Jordans
Older Client Law Service Butterworths’
Wills, Probate and Administration Service Butterworths’
Wills Administration and Taxation Barlow King and King
Your Rights Sally West Age Concern

E-Learning Portal Site and Materials
A range of materials to support both large and small group sessions and to facilitate directed learning will be provided via the Law and the Elderly Client e-learning portal site.

OUTLINE SYLLABUS

Element 1: Wills, tax planning and family provision claims

Students should develop an understanding of the law and practice involved in the passing of property on death and lifetime gifts and the associated tax implications. Also the potential for claims against the estate, and should be able to:

1. identify the elements necessary to create a valid will
2. advise on the clauses required for an effective will
3. identify the property passing by will, intestacy or outside the estate
4. understand the taxation implications of wills and lifetime gifts
5. demonstrate an awareness of and advise on tax planning strategies including the impact of income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax
6. draft, review and amend a will in accordance with client instructions
7. understand and advise on post death tax planning through deeds of variation
8. advise on claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.


Element 2: Mental Capacity

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding mental capacity and the onset of mental incapacity and should be able to:

1. demonstrate an awareness of the importance of assessing the mental capacity of the client and the impact of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
2. advise upon the effect of mental incapacity upon the client’s property and affairs
3. understand the various forms of Power of Attorney to deal with the onset of mental incapacity
4. draft, review and critically analyse Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney
5. understand the role of the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian and their involvement in the affairs of elderly clients facing the onset of mental incapacity, in particular registration of Powers of Attorney and appointment of Deputies.

Element 3: Welfare benefits

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of the main welfare benefits available to elderly clients, specifically:

1. attendance allowance
2. pension credit.

Element 4: Residential care and the family home

Students should develop an understanding of the law and practice involved in the funding of residential care and the importance of the family home in the assessment process, and should be able to:

1. demonstrate an understanding of the manner in which residential care is funded, considering the needs of the elderly client and their income and capital position
2. identify the role of the NHS and the local authority in funding residential care
3. understand the anti avoidance provisions with regard to lifetime giving of assets
4. advise on gifting of the family home and develop an awareness of the competing interests of family members in gifting and home sharing arrangements

AIMS OF MODULE

This elective aims to provide students with:
an appreciation of the law involved in advising the elderly client with particular reference to dealing with property and affairs;
a knowledge of the validity of wills and how property can be passed by will or intestacy;
an awareness of drafting issues in wills;
an appreciation of the competing interests of family members when advising an elderly client with regard to their property and affairs;
a knowledge of the basic principles of inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax;
an appreciation of the main welfare benefits available to the elderly;
an understanding of how residential care can be funded and an appreciation of the importance of dealings with the family home;
a knowledge and understanding of the difficulties brought about by the onset of mental incapacity and the legal procedures that cab be used to deal with this situation.

It is also designed to enable students to further develop:
practical legal research and drafting skills acquired during Stage 1;

LEARNING OUTCOMES

On completion of the Law and the Elderly Client vocational elective, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate an understanding of the law and practice involved in advising the elderly client, with particular emphasis on dealing with property and affairs

2. build upon the knowledge and understanding of the validity of wills and how property can be passed by will or intestacy developed in Wills and Administration of Estates

3. draft an effective will, including a will creating a trust, drawing on appropriate precedents. The elective encourages students to build on their skills in drafting.

4. identify and deal with the often competing interests of family members when advising an elderly client with regard to their property and affairs

5. build upon the knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax developed in Taxation

6. appreciate the main welfare benefits available to the elderly

7. understand how residential care can be funded and appreciate the importance of dealings with the family home

8. be aware of the difficulties brought about by the onset of mental incapacity and the legal procedures that can be used to deal with this situation.

PREREQUISITES

Wills, Probate and Administration.

COREQUISITES

NONE

DISTANCE LEARNING DELIVERY

N/A

LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY

The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used in part to introduce students to the major principles of each topic. They will place these principles in context by examining them against relevant factual scenarios.

The small group sessions (which will consist of between 16 – 20 students), will, in conjunction with the directed and independent learning, expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on the use of practical scenarios as the basis for relevant skills based and interactive sessions to apply that material to the scenario. For example, some of the sessions will include the opportunity to draft wills and powers of attorney also to participate in role play involving family home sharing and estate distribution, acting as one of the legal advisers involved. Other sessions will require problem solving skills to identify key issues, plan strategies for taking problems forward and drafting aspects of the necessary documentation to do so. Where appropriate to the subject area students will be required to analyse and critique relevant legal material.

Students will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the large group sessions and cover specific topics not dealt with in those sessions. This will be supported by formative self test and multiple choice questions. Students will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the large group sessions and directed learning and to prepare for the tasks in the small group sessions. Examples of independent learning will include locating and reading relevant legal source material.

Experiential learning is prevalent in the simulated practice exercises that take place in most of the small group sessions.

ASSESSMENT STRATEGY

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Summative assessment will be provided by an examination made up of a one hour closed book multiple choice paper plus a two hour open book practical paper based on advance documents. The use of advance documents allows the subject team greater opportunity to test knowledge and application in the examination and allows greater use of realistic legal scenarios.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Formative assessment will be provided by a combination of self test questions and multiple choice questions which students will complete through the module e-learning portal site and in small group sessions.
Students will also have the opportunity to sit a mock open book examination paper.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

The multiple choice questions are undertaken in a small group session and feedback given during this session. Detailed answers to the self test questions will be available on the e-learning portal and feedback on the mock examination will be given via the e-learning portal and in a large group session..

IMPLICATIONS FOR CHOICE

NONE

Course info

Credits 1

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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