News Items – Severn Valley Business Group

Category: News Items

Lasting Powers of Attorney – Do you have one?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf, in the event of a loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness such as dementia.

It is by far the most powerful and important legal document an individual can have, because it allows you to pass potentially life-changing decisions about your affairs on to a third party.

At Onions & Davies, we make a lot of LPAs for people and here are some top tips for getting the best out of them:

  • Plan early – While you have capacity, it’s vital that you get your affairs in order and choose the best people to manage your affairs, in case of an accident or illness. You can’t appoint an attorney once you lose capacity.


  • Choose carefully – Think carefully who you want to appoint as your attorney and have an open conversation with them, so they understand your wishes and what their responsibilities will include. Consider appointing more than one person as your attorney so they can share the responsibility.


  • Consider appointing a professional – A family member might not always be the best person to act as your attorney. Instead, you can appoint a professional, such as a solicitor. They can act as a neutral third party and make unbiased decisions that are in your best interests. Bear in mind this usually involves a cost.


  • Think about different circumstances – Consider how you would like your attorney to manage your property and financial affairs in different situations. For example, are you happy for your property to be sold to pay for your care costs?


  • Address the difficult questions – Your attorney might have to make difficult decisions about your health and welfare. If you have specific wishes around your care plans, medical treatment, or end of life wishes, make sure you discuss this with them and make your choices clear in your document.


  • Seek professional advice – Shop-bought and online LPA kits may be suitable for those with very straightforward financial situations or with considerable legal experience, but for most people, seeking professional legal advice is the best way of ensuring that an LPA is effective, legally robust and safe.


  • Keep your plans current – Make sure you keep your LPA updated if your circumstances change. Your choices around the people you want responsible for your finances and wellbeing may change, such as following a marriage or divorce, when children reach adulthood, or if parents pass away

This is a specialist area of the law, and we recommend that anyone considering an LPA goes to a legal expert to ensure they get the right advice, consider all the options, and safeguard themselves for the future.

Sarah McDermott is our Private Client Assistant and well placed to provide you with the best advice. Contact her on 01630 652405 or .

New Family Law – at a standstill

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Parliament’s website has confirmed that the dissolution of parliament and the forthcoming election means that the long awaited Domestic Abuse Bill and the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will not be progressed at this time, leading to substantial delays before reform is considered again by the next government.


Christmas and the kids

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As a separated parent, it can be difficult to agree Christmas arrangements with the other parent. The perception of what is fair and even between you may be very different, and there may be wider family events to throw into the mix, as well as handovers, Christmas presents and school events to negotiate.

We know that Christmas is not an easy time for everyone, and this can be made worse when you still feel ‘at war’ with the other parent.

We can offer help with this in Family Mediation whereby our Resolution trained Mediator, Louise Martin, can manage your discussions about Christmas, or any similar family issues, in a safe, secure mediation setting at our offices.

To book an appointment, or for more details about resolving disputes outside of court proceedings using family mediation, contact Louise at


Onions & Davies achieve bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)

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In March 2017, we sealed our commitment to supporting the armed ​forces in our local community by signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant to recognise the value that serving and veteran personnel, and their military families, have to our business, our community and our country.

We have, since that time, upheld our promise to members of the armed forces, their spouses and veterans, by offering discounts on our legal services, to the benefit of many past and current clients.

We have now achieved bronze award in recognition of our statement of intent to support defence personnel as a UK employer. Our organisation is now listed as a bronze award holder on the ERS website

For details of our Armed Forces Pledge, see below: –

Onions & Davies Solicitors recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to our business. We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

  • promoting the fact that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation;
  • aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day;
  • supporting Royal British Legion in the sale of poppies for Armistice Day
  • offering a discount to members of the Armed Forces Community of 10% on fees in the following departments:
  • Family work – to include divorce, finances, children;
  • Private client work – to include wills and lasting powers of attorneys
  • offering a discount to members of the Armed Forces Community of FREE pre-mediation appointments for both husband and wife, and one joint session of mediation at 25% discount on fees
  • (NB. we cannot offer any reductions on VAT or disbursements);

For more details, please contact Kim Mapperson, Solicitor & Armed Forces Covenant Co-ordinator, at


10 reasons to use an SFE (Solicitors For the Elderly) accredited lawyer

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The decisions and plans you make now will have a huge impact on your later life. Getting them right is essential. An SFE accredited lawyer is an expert in older client law and will ensure you get the best possible legal advice for your future.

SFE members:

  1. Know their stuff: Our members are qualified solicitors, barristers and legal executives who specialise in advising older and vulnerable people and their families and carers.


  1. Have years of experience: SFE lawyers have substantial experience, built up over many years, focussing on this area of law.


  1. Are independently accredited: SFE lawyers have all undertaken additional specialist training in older client law to qualify for the Older Client Care in Practice Award, which is independently accredited.


  1. Follow a strict code of conduct: SFE lawyers understand the issues affecting older and vulnerable clients and follow a strict code of practice that has respect and dignity at its heart.


  1. Speak in a language you understand: There is so much jargon in the legal profession. SFE lawyers communicate in clear straightforward language, to make sure that you understand everything you’re signing.


  1. Are part of a community of experts: SFE lawyers have a community of more than 1,500 members to draw on, so no matter how complex or sensitive your case, you will receive the best possible legal advice.


  1. Safeguard your interests: An SFE lawyer is committed to providing affordable, high quality legal advice, and will ensure any decisions are your own.


  1. Understand the bigger picture: SFE lawyers understand the wider, and often sensitive issues around health, care and family that might affect your plans for later life.


  1. Offer the best possible care and support: SFE lawyers care. They go above and beyond to provide support that is tailored to your needs and individual circumstances.


  1. Get you the best possible outcome: Ultimately, choosing an SFE lawyer means you’ll be guided through this complex and sensitive area of law and will enable you to lay solid foundations to protect you and your loved ones in later life.

Chris Milne is a full, accredited SFE solicitor, with over 22 years of experience in helping older people and their families.

For help with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Care Fees Planning, Estates, Trusts and Inheritance Tax, please contact Chris on 01630 652405 or



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