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22

2013

August

When relationships break down

It’s a sad fact of life that relationships break down.
 
This can be an emotional and upsetting time which can often become acrimonious leading to lengthy and expensive court proceedings to deal with issues such as finances eg. how property is split or who will care for the children.
 
When this happens, figures produced by the government do not make for happy reading. For publicly funded (legal aid) cases they estimate that:
 

  • The average cost of resolving property and financial disputes through the courts is £4,000
     
  • The average time to resolve the case through the courts is 435 days


However, the government’s recent changes to the legal system have resulted in legal aid being withdrawn for many family matters and as a result separating couples may now be required to pay the costs themselves.
 
 Happily, there is an alternative...
 
Introducing mediation
 
Mediation is a process which brings couples together to explore issues in an open and non confrontational environment. Trained mediators give impartial guidance and help you understand what matters to you, helping you make your own choices to arrive at practical and mutually agreed solutions.
 
Resolving unhappy situations in a non-hostile manner brings obvious benefits including:
 

  • Enables parties to communicate in a safe and secure environment
     
  • Enables communication  channels to remain open
     
  • Reduces tension and hostility
     
  • Saves costs of what can sometimes be expensive court battles
     
  • Helps you make informed decisions that are right for you
     
  • Helps children, who see parents working together
     

Indeed, practically those same government statistics show that:
 

  • The average cost of resolving property and financial disputes through the mediation is £500
     
  • The average time to resolve the case through the mediation is 110 days
     

These are staggering differences and you can be sure that, here at Pudsey Legal, we warmly welcome mediation as a way to amicably resolve differences at these difficult times.

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15

2013

August

Pudsey Legal - double award nominees!

15 Aug 2013

 
Hot on the heels of our recent shortlisting for the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, We're delighted to now announce that we have also been shortlisted for the 2013 Modern Law Awards.
 
These national awards aim to celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in entrepreneurship, market development, business management and best practice in the modern legal services arena.

​The awards ceremony takes place at the end of September and, as with the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, we’d like to thank all who have made our being shortlisted possible.
 

 
“We’re delighted to be nominated for these awards in our first year trading as
Pudsey Legal. We’ve worked really hard over the past year to make sure that we have all the relevant accreditations and training in place and that we’re helping our local community – as well as doing our day jobs!
 
It’s been a challenging but rewarding year and we’re looking forward to whatever the future holds.”

Nigel Beck,
Pudsey Legal Director
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07

2013

August

Handling the legal affairs when a loved one dies

As a solicitor specialising in probate, death is something I encounter on a pretty much daily basis. Although a very natural part of the cycle of life, it is always very hard when you lose someone close to you. It is only natural for the person left behind to feel lost. We all have own way of coping with death and, quite frankly, we don’t know how well we will cope until it has happened to us.
 
The last thing someone in these circumstances wants to be bothered with is dealing with the administration of the estate of the person who’s died.  The vast majority of people I see are widows, as statistically, it’s you ladies who tend to live longer. It is also often the case that the husband was in charge of managing the finances. I certainly know this is true for my parents.
 
So, how could we at Pudsey Legal help you, should you find yourself in this unenviable position? Well basically we can obtain a Grant of Representation (probate) for you and the cost of doing this is a lot more affordable that you may expect. Our fixed charges start at £499 plus VAT and disbursements, and can include a HOME VISIT. Probate can normally be obtained within 3 to 4 weeks of you instructing us.
 
We can also handle the full administration of the estate for you and, in most cases, we will be able to provide you with a fixed price at the outset of the matter, for your own peace of mind.
 
People do sometimes choose to obtain the probate themselves but before you make this decision please bear in mind the fee payable to the Probate Registry will be more than if you had used a solicitor (£110 as opposed to £45) and you will also have to make a personal appointment to visit your local Probate Registry, so it will be a lot more time-consuming than using a solicitor.
 
Some points to note:
 

  • Probate is not normally required for small estates of under around £15,000
     
  • Probate may not be required if everything has passed to the surviving spouse and all assets are in joint names
     
  • The Grant of Probate is effectively a court document giving the executor power to administer the estate
     
  • Consider whether being charged a percentage of the value of the estate to deal with probate is cost effective

 

A Final thought
 
We live in an age where people are extremely price conscious and are increasingly able to cut out the professional in favour of a DIY job. My adage has always been to leave things to the experts. Would I fit a carpet myself or change the alternator on my car? No way!
 
I have seen many clients who have tried to do legal work themselves and it has all too often proved to be a false economy, as mistakes had been made which cost them time and money, which far outweighed the initial saving in legal fees – a salutary lesson for us all...
 

Andrew Gullett
Head of Wills & Probate

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05

2013

August

Pudsey Legal Shortlisted for Yorkshire Lawyer Awards

05 Aug 2013

 
We're delighted to announce that Pudsey Legal has been shortlisted for the Yorkshire Lawyer Award.
 
The awards have been honouring excellence within the region’s legal profession over the past decade and it's clear from the mounting nominations that legal excellence is something Yorkshire has in abundance.
 
Being shortlisted as a finalist is a real accolade as the number of entries this year has been reported as the highest ever, with the judging panel only putting forward those entries they considered to be potential winners.
 
We'll find out if we have won our category in October, but would like to thank all of our dedicated staff, our clients and those who have supported us over the past year as we have grown our business and endeavoured to offer quality legal advice in and around Pudsey.
 

 
“We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for this award which reflects the hard work undertaken by all at Pudsey Legal in the last few months.
 
We are keeping our fingers crossed for an early first birthday present when the winners are announced in October.”


Nigel Beck,
Pudsey Legal Director
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04

2013

August

Pudsey Legal launches new family mediation service

04 Aug 2013

 
It’s an unfortunate fact that family relationships break down. When they do, many issues need to be resolved such as arrangements for children or property and financial affairs.
 
Often these issues are dragged through the courts costing not only time and money but also increased anguish at such an emotional time.
 
However, mediation offers an alternative way to resolve differences and find solutions in a much less aggressive and confrontational way than court proceedings.
 
Mediation can also be a much cheaper and quicker option for families who find themselves in this situation.
 
A mediator acts as an impartial third party and seeks to work with both parties to explore the issues in a much less formal environment and find solutions which suit all concerned.
 
Here at Pudsey Legal, we believe in putting the families first. So we’ve invested in our Head of Family Law Farzana Ishaq and she’s now a qualified family mediator.
 
In order to qualify as a family mediator Farzana undertook intensive training, which involved theoretical assignments as well as practical assessments to test her skills in realistic scenarios.
 

 
“It was really gruelling and very intensive. For one of our practical assessments we had to make a DVD of ourselves undertaking a mediation session with a family. We then had to watch and review ourselves and this was then analysed by the course tutor and other members of the group. It was incredibly in-depth, but I hope that I can bring these new skills to the people of Pudsey and beyond.”


Farzana Ishaq,
Pudsey Legal Head of family law
 

 
Becoming a family mediator requires a different set of skills to those Farzana has already mastered as a solicitor. The role of the mediator is to listen and to facilitate an agreement between the parties involved so that they can walk away with their dispute resolved and be able to get on with their lives.
 
Mediation can also involve grandparents who may be invited to attend to ensure they help resolve disputes and are able to have access to their grandchildren.
 
As a family mediator Farzana isn’t allowed to give practical legal advice, even though she is fully qualified to do so, but to point clients in the right direction about what the law says so that this helps them and hopefully brings calm to the situation. It’s a way of resolving disputes to prevent court proceedings ever having to take place.
 
Clients can refer themselves to Pudsey Legal for mediation, without going through a solicitor, which will ultimately save money. We also offer fixed fees for family mediation work. Solicitors in the area can also refer their clients to Pudsey Legal for this service.

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31

2013

July

Pudsey Legal increases support for local sport

West Yorkshire is no stranger to sporting success, with our very own Nicola Adams and Hannah Cockroft securing gold medals for Team GB. Not to be outdone, it’s also been a busy sporting month for us here at Pudsey Legal and we’ve increased the level of support we’re offering local clubs through our Cash for Clubs

Even More Cash for Clubs
 
Such sporting successes are often attributed to essential lottery funding and grass roots support. Here at Pudsey Legal, we take a more direct role in supporting local clubs.
 
Our Cash for Clubs scheme launched with both Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket club and Pudsey Juniors Football Club and we are now looking to expand the number of clubs we support.

The scheme rewards clubs financially when club members, their family or friends use our range of legal services.
  
We’re pleased to announce an increase in the level of support we can offer from 5% to 10%!
 
This means the self-funding clubs we support can continue to nurture tomorrow’s sporting talent and future gold medallists of Yorkshire.Team triumphs
 
Our Director, Paul Kaye has completed two marathons since his 46 mile epic along the Leeds – Liverpool canal for our Hare & Hounds Challenge, which raised just over £1500 for Pudsey Live at Home. Head of Conveyancing, Seema Gabbi has gained her red belt in mixed martial arts and Head of Wills and Probate Andrew Gullett has spent many leisurely hours kayaking on the canal.  Elsewhere, Lesley Lyons (and her horse, Bertie) have recently won an open class show jumping event with the South Bradford Riding Association.
 
On a slightly more professional level, local clubs we support have also had their moments in the sun. Farsley AFC entertained Leeds United in a pre-season friendly at Throstle Nest in front of a crowd of 3,000; Pudsey St Lawrence reached 2 cup semi-finals and Pudsey Pacers hosted the annual Pudsey 10k and fun run which attracted over 500 runners.Here’s hoping our sporting success continues!
 
If you know of a club which could benefit from the Cash for Clubs scheme please contact us on 0113 290 0380 or e-mail us at info@pudseylegal.com with Cash for Clubs in the subject line.
 
Basic requirements are that the club has a junior section (it need not be a sports club), operates on a not-for-profit basis and is based in Pudsey or the surrounding areas.
 
Please click here for full terms and conditions of the Cash for Clubs scheme.

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11

2013

July

Pudsey Legal successful in appeal case

11 Jul 2013

 
There have been numerous cases involving the tricky subject of credit hire over the years.
 
Credit hire arises following a road traffic accident. If your car is damaged in an accident you may need to hire a car whilst yours is off the road. Rather than paying up front yourself for a hire car, a credit hire company will supply the hire car on credit terms.
 
The company will then look to recover the hire costs from the insurer of the driver who caused the accident in the first place. This all sounds reasonable - if you have not caused the accident why should you be out of pocket?
 
Yet the process of recovering the money from the insurers sometimes proves complicated when disputes arise. This was the case which faced our specialist credit hire team here at Pudsey Legal recently.
 
Our client, who is a small business owner, was unfortunately involved in an accident where the other driver’s insurers admitted responsibility. Luckily, both drivers were unharmed, but the damage to our client's vehicle meant it was un-driveable.
 
Needing a replacement vehicle whilst his was off the road, he hired from a credit hire company. Whilst, he did have the means to pay for a car from his own pocket, there was no guarantee when he would have recovered this from the insurance company so he hired a vehicle on a credit hire basis (remember he is a small business owner where cash-flow is important).
 
Therefore, he was entitled to recover what is known in law as the ‘Basic Hire Rate.’ This is the rate he would have paid for a car from a local hire company if he was paying up front himself.
 
In cases like this, usually both parties will supply evidence of local rates to allow, hopefully, a figure to be agreed. However, in this case, no agreement could be reached and court proceedings were issued.
 
As is usually the case in these matters, the courts refer to the rules laid down in previous cases, most notably Bent v Highways 2011 and Clark v Ardington 2002. In our case, the dispute surrounded both parties interpretation of these two cases and which party’s rates evidence was most relevant and specific to our client’s needs and rights.
 
At the first hearing, the judge preferred the Defendant’s evidence and we appealed this decision.
 
The appeal judge found in our favour and ruled that the original judge:
 

  • Failed to give any reasons why he preferred the Defendant’s Basic Hire Rate report over that of our client’s.
     
  • There were no grounds on which the original judge could reject the contents of our client’s Basic Hire Report.
     
  • The reasons given by the original judge for rejecting the contents of the Basic Hire Rate Report of our client were wrong in law and not supported by any evidence.
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10

2013

July

Redundancy? Let's compromise

In the current economic climate many businesses, both large and small, look to restructuring as a way to cut costs and achieve greater efficiencies.
 
The regrettable, but inevitable, downside of this is often the loss of jobs.
 
In these circumstances many employers look to agree severance terms with employees through what is known as a Compromise Agreement.

These legally binding agreements are designed to achieve a ‘clean break’ between the employer and employee when a contract of employment is to be terminated or a dispute is to be resolved.
 
They are often used in redundancy situations and when the employer is offering an enhanced redundancy payment. As part of the bargain, the employee agrees that they will not bring any claim to the Employment Tribunal.


There are a number of points which must be covered for the agreement to be binding:
 

  • It must be in writing
     
  • It must relate to a particular issue e.g. redundancy
     
  • It must state that the conditions regulating compromise agreements have been satisfied
     
  • You must have received independent legal advice on the agreement and the agreement must identify the legal advisor
     
  • The advisor must hold their own professional indemnity insurance

 
Legal fees
 
Usually, your employer will agree to meet the legal fees in full or make a contribution towards them. At Pudsey Legal, we will not charge you more than this amount,* ensuring you do not therefore have to pay anything out of your own pocket.
 
Tax
 
As a general rule the first £30,000 of any redundancy payment is paid tax free. However, if any part of the settlement relates to eg. holiday or notice period pay, then those will generally be subject to tax/NI at the normal rate.
 

Agreement terms
 
Sometimes it is necessary to seek to amend the terms of the agreement e.g. to add or remove a term or to vary the amount of the settlement offered. Your legal advisor will discuss this with you.
 
Free advice on a potential dismissal
 
It may be the case that you have not yet been offered a Compromise Agreement but you fear that you may be dismissed, or you may have already been dismissed but without compensation. In either of these circumstances, we can offer you an initial consultation to discuss your rights and advise you on your most appropriate course of action. This may include proposing a Compromise Agreement to your Employer.
 
Remember, here at Pudsey Legal, we are on hand to give you expert advice and guidance if you are faced with this unfortunate situation.
 
*Subject to minimum contribution of £200 pus v.a.t.

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05

2013

July

Free cup of tea with every case

Personal Injury lawyers have had a rocky time in the press in recent years. The introduction of the ‘no win-no fee’ concept and a relaxation of advertising rules has seen a glut of radio, TV and newspaper adverts as phrases such as ‘ambulance chasers’ and ‘compensation culture’ have become part of our everyday language.
 
At Pudsey Legal, your welfare is always our main priority.
 
Recent legislation has been imposed to radically change the accident claims industry and processes aimed at speeding up the system and reducing legal fees have been introduced.
 
However, the debate has reared its head again this week with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rejecting calls to ban solicitors from offering inducements to potential clients such as cash or gifts. They argue that they have found nothing to suggest client’s interests are put at risk or that inducements encourage spurious claims.
 
Indeed aren’t inducements a part of our everyday lives? Whether it be a '3-for-2' offer at the local supermarket or a free cuddly toy for taking out insurance, these offers are a very clever way of marketing to encourage consumers to purchase products or services and can give business’s a competitive advantage over rivals.
 
So why should the legal profession be treated any differently when it comes to inducements and injury claims?
 
Well the answer may well lie in the first paragraph of this blog. Accident lawyers are generally not held in high esteem and it could be argued that to allow marketing in such a way might heighten this perception, whilst at the same time helping fuel the notion of a compensation culture.
 
As a result, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) have both called for a ban on inducements and have asked the SRA to reconsider and we agree with that call.
 
At Pudsey Legal we believe in good old fashioned quality and service being the driving forces when choosing a solicitor to represent you and your interests. Whether you’ve had an accident, are buying a house or making a will, it’s important that you are choosing your solicitors for the right reasons.
 
Don’t forget that here at Pudsey Legal, you can be sure of 4 things:
 

  • Clear guidance
     
  • Sensible pricing
     
  • Caring professionals
     
  • We’re on your doorstep
     

If you need quality legal advice from a local firm, give us a call on
0113 254 9733 or pop in to see us – we’ll put the kettle on!

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05

2013

June

Congratulations to our winners!

05 Jun 2013

 
Congratulations go to our two competition winners from the recent Pudsey Carnival and our very own Hare & Hounds challenge in aid of Pudsey Live at Home, our chosen charity of the year for 2013.
 
First in the prize giving was the winning ticket in the main Pudsey Carnival Prize draw where we had sponsored the £100 cash prize. The lucky winner was Simon Hepworth who is pictured receiving his prize from Pudsey Legal director and ‘Hare,’ Paul Kaye along with fellow director Nigel Beck and Pudsey Carnival Chairman Simon Seary.
 
Our Hare and Hounds Challenge winner was Kerrie Brear who was the nearest guess to Paul’s overall finishing time of 8hrs 54mins and 29 seconds. Kerrie, who allowed Paul a little extra time with her guess of 9hrs 06mins 12 seconds, is pictured receiving her prize of a £50 M&S gift voucher from the 'Hare' himself.
 
You can read about our Hare & Hounds challenge on our blog, and also find out about the other ways we are supporting Pudsey Live at Home by regularly checking back on our website. Alternatively, follow @PudseyLegal on Twitter, or share your views and comments by using #PudseyLegal.
 
Congratulations to both our winners!

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05

2013

June

Unregulated will writing

Many people, I am sure, would assume that only solicitors are allowed to write wills, but think again! In fact anyone, and I do mean anyone, can start a business writing wills.
 
Whilst writing a will seems an obvious legal task only certain legal activities are regulated by our professional bodies.
 
This very subject has been in the news recently as the Legal Services Board had proposed regulating will writing. However, the Lord Chancellor has rejected this and will writing remains unregulated.
 
So, you’re probably thinking, so what? Why should this bother me? Well consider some of the advantages of using a regulated solicitor.

  • It ensures that only competent and trained people are providing you with a professional and watertight service.

 

  • It offers protection to you, the customer.

 

  • Solicitors are closely regulated and monitored to ensure that high standards are maintained throughout the profession.
     

Currently, a customer may instruct a will writing company and assume that they are a firm of solicitors, or, at the very least, experts at what they do. It’s a fact that will writing generates a lot of negligence claims, mainly because any mistakes do not normally come to light until after the person has died, at which point, it is too late to correct those mistakes.
 
As solicitors, we are required to have insurance to guard against such claims. If an unfortunate mistake has been made then there will be a means of financial redress. However, that financial redress may not be available if you have used an unqualified will writer who did not have insurance and has disappeared or is no longer in business.
 
Solicitors, on the whole, may not always get it right, but if standards are not met we will suffer the consequences. Also, if a firm stops operating for any reason, there is a system in place to ensure that a firm’s files and stored documents (including wills) are safeguarded. Such protection may not exist if you have used an unregulated will writer.
 
I am not someone who believes in over-regulating businesses, but, in this case, I believe that there is a good case to support formal regulation across the will writing industry, for the reasons given. However, our Lord Chancellor has decided this is not to be and, alternatively, he has encouraged a form of self-regulation within the industry.
 
With this in mind, the Law Society has announced its own “Wills Quality Standard” which is due to be launched later this year. I am fully supportive of this as it will help to ensure that consistently high standards are maintained across the profession.
 
Useful information on making a will can be found on the law society website.
 
Andrew Gullett is  Pudsey Legal's head of wills and probate. You can find out more about Andrew and the services he offers by reading the following pages, or contacting us for further information.
 
Wills and Probate.
Lasting Powers of attorney.
Planning for care home fees

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24

2013

May

Solicitors for the Elderly

24 May 2013

 
Congratulations this week go to our Head of Wills and Probate, Andrew Gullett who has become one of a select group of only nine lawyers in Leeds to be awarded full practitioner membership of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).
 
SFE is an independent, national organisation of lawyers which provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.
 
Not just any lawyer can be a member of SFE. Members must demonstrate substantial experience in working for older and vulnerable clients and pass the SFE examinations to be considered for membership. They must also follow the SFE code of practice.
 
SFE members advise on a number of issues including:
 

  • Wills
     
  • Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection work
     
  • Probate and the administration of estates
     
  • Trusts administration
     
  • Preserving assets in the event of long term residential or nursing care

 
Nigel Beck, director at Pudsey Legal says, “Clients deserve the reassurance that their legal matter is being dealt with by a recognised specialist. That’s why, at Pudsey Legal, we place great emphasis on professional accreditation schemes to demonstrate our commitment to providing a service our clients feel truly comfortable with.”
 
Membership of SFE really is a feather in the cap for both Andrew and Pudsey Legal and Andrew can be rightly proud of his achievement.

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21

2013

May

Hare & Hounds Challenge: Complete

Pudsey Legal’s first major fundraising initiative, the Hare and Hounds Challenge, was a massive success at the weekend, and is estimated to raise in excess of £1,000 for its 2013 charity – Pudsey Live at Home.
 
  
The challenge was kick-started on Saturday when the team joined the Pudsey Carnival Parade before the 9 ‘hounds’ were released from the carnival showground by Counsellor Mick Coulson to begin the 23 mile hunt along the Leeds–Liverpool canal towpath from Rodley to Skipton, in pursuit of director, marathon runner and ‘hare’ Paul Kaye.
 
The wet weather meant the challenge was not without difficulty on a very muddy towpath and progress was slow, allowing the hare to win the first leg. The hounds maintain the outcome would have been different had they not stopped to rescue a trapped goat! This unusual approach to Corporate Social Responsibility really does show that Pudsey Legal offer real life support.
 
Feeling refreshed and galvanised (ie. unable to move) after a good night’s sleep, the hounds set off on Sunday morning confident that, goats aside, they could beat the hare on the return leg.
 
However it was not to be. Despite fantastic assistance and encouragement from the support crew, once again the chase was thwarted by a mixture of bad luck and ill discipline in the form of one puncture, several unintended cycle dismounts (ie. falling off bikes) and a final unavoidable delay caused by a round of bacon sandwiches at the Five Rise Locks Cafe.
  
Need legal assistance?
  
These unfortunate mishaps allowed the hare to arrive back at Rodley victorious, feeling a very modest “not too bad”. As for the hounds, they were left licking their wounds, including one who somehow managed to break three, yes three, bikes – none of which were “his fault.”
 
There’s always next year...
 
There's still time to enter our competition for the chance to win £50 Marks & Spencer vouchers by guessing the time it took Paul to run the full 46 mile course over the two days. Click on the icon below for your chance to win £50 Marks & Spencer vouchers.
 
Please keep your donations coming in too. Every little helps so please help us beat our target total. Visit our Just Giving page by clicking here or by clicking on the Just Giving Logo below.

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12

2013

May

The Hare & Hounds challenge countdown

With less than 24 hours to go before our Hare & Hounds challenge, realisation is beginning to dawn on our less prepared team members (directors, Nigel and Andrew) who have been reminded of the trials and tribulations of their last attempt to cycle the Leeds - Liverpool canal in their younger days. Despite this, rumours of vigorous last minute training sessions have been strenuously denied by them!
 
Taking a more serious approach is Paul, our 'Hare', who has joined local running club Pudsey Pacers in addition to his other marathon commitments which actually include the Edinburgh marathon the week after our challenge.
 
Our challenge takes place at the same time as this year’s Pudsey Carnival, and, not wanting to miss out on the fun, our team will be taking part in the parade before being sent on our way from the carnival stage by good friend of Pudsey Legal, Councillor Mick Coulson.
  
We are also running a competition for the chance to win £50 Marks & Spencer vouchers by guessing the time it will take Paul to run the full 46 mile course over the two days. Click on the icon below for your chance to win £50 Marks & Spencer vouchers.
  
Fundraising is going well and we are already on course to meet our target. However, every little helps so please feel free to sponsor us via our Just Giving page by clicking here or by clicking on the Just Giving Logo.
  
The Hounds will be tweeting updates whilst they ride - you can stay up-to-date by following@pudseylegal or searching for #H&H

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06

2013

May

Dementia Awareness Week

Did you know that Dementia Awareness week taking place nationwide between the 19th and 25th May? This is the Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship awareness raising campaign.
 
There are all manner of different things you can do to get involved, such as throwing a tea party, or simply visiting their website, even talking about it with your family and friends will help to achieve the campaign’s primary goal of raising awareness of dementia.
 
The term dementia is used to describe a set of symptoms, including memory loss and difficulties with communicating. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s (62% of all dementia cases).
  
Did you know that there is a 1 in 3 chance of you developing dementia if you are over the age of 65?
 
It is also a little known fact that 2/3rd of people with dementia are women. I am not by any stretch of the imagination an expert on this subject but wonder if this is simply because women tend to live a lot longer than men. One of the advantages of growing old as a single or widowed man is of course your pick of the ladies at the tea-dances!
 
This subject is of particularly interest to me personally as I advise clients in making Lasting Powers of Attorney LPA). This is a document which gives some other person (your Attorney) power to manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do so yourself.
 
Unfortunately, I am frequently contacted by people whose family member has already lost capacity to make a LPA. In these circumstances, an application has to be made to the Court of Protection for a person to be appointed as a deputy to act on behalf of the person who has been incapacitated. This is both expensive (£400 court fee plus solicitors costs of anything in the region of £1,000), and time-consuming (at least 6 months). During this 6 months money would be locked into bank accounts, and any property could not be sold. The process is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The powers of the Court appointed Deputy are restricted and closely monitored.
 
This could easily have been avoided if the person had made one or more LPA’s. Once made, these can be registered immediately with the Office of the Public Guardian, in order that they can be used straight away, should the need arise. There are 2 types of LPA – Property and Affairs and Health and Personal Welfare.
 
Sadly, none of us know what is round the corner, and all too often we think it will never happen to us and delay doing things until it’s simply too late.
 
In an ideal world I would advise everyone over the age of around 40 to have a LPA in place. You can see it as a very useful insurance policy.
 
So back to talking and the Alzheimer’s Awareness week reminds me of my May day bank holiday spent travelling around the beautiful Yorkshire Dales with 2 friends. Perhaps it was the gorgeous weather which made everyone friendly but we chatted to so many lovely and interesting people. 
 
Sadly, this is a luxury not afforded to many elderly people who are house-bound and see no-one from one week to the next week. I do believe that loneliness is increasingly common-place in our society but very little is said about it. Here at Pudsey Legal, we sponsor a local charity (of which I am also a committee member) called Pudsey Live at Home. They visit elderly people and also provide various activities, including trips out. It’s a simple idea but the charity makes a huge impact upon the lives of the people who use it. I believe this is extremely relevant to the Dementia Awareness week, as I am quite sure that dementia can be helped by simply talking to people. I repeat that I am not a medical expert but surely just keeping your mind active and positive is likely to have a beneficial impact on its well-being.
 
So, I urge all of you who are reading this article to use the Dementia Awareness to talk to someone, perhaps an elderly relative or neighbour who you have not seen for some time, not just about the important issues raised in this article, but simply to connect with that person and show a genuine interest in his or her life.
 
It has always interested me that at birth we are entirely dependent upon the care of others and in our dotage we are again dependent upon the kindness of others, so perhaps in the intervening years, we could all show a little more kindness to our elders, as we will all be there one day….

Contacts

Telephone
0113 254 9733

Pudsey Legal
Cringlebar House,
415 Bradford Road, Pudsey,
Leeds, LS28 7HQ

 


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