This area of law relates to advising clients about how to prepare for the possibility of becoming mentally or physically incapacitated, and how to manage financial and other assets in advancing years. It is often referred to as private client work and is undertaken by law firms across the country, often in the same department that handles will-writing and probate activities.
A lasting power of attorney (POA) gives a named person the authority to act for another person in legal or financial matters. It needs to be put in place while a person is still well enough to understand the implications of creating a POA. People working in this area are therefore involved in working with elderly clients and planning for their future.
This also involves giving advice on the rules relating to care home funding and also on inheritance tax.
What jobs are there for non-qualified staff?
Although an initial consultation will usually be conducted by a qualified member of staff, POAs are created by completing standard forms and registering them with a government department called the Office of the Public Guardian, so there are often administrative jobs in this area.
What job titles will be advertised by recruitment agencies?
Private client paralegal; private client legal administrator. Applying for legal secretarial jobs is also a good route into this area of law.
What CILEx units will support my application for these job roles?
We recommend that you enrol on courses leading to the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Elderly Client Practice). As well as an introductory unit you will study the Law of Wills and Succession and the Practice of Law for the Elderly Client. Have a look at the tables of contents to see what is involved. You will also study two professional skills units.
If you already have a law degree, you can achieve your CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma by studying Level 6 Probate Practice, Level 6 Client Care Skills and one other CILEx Level 6 practice unit of your choice, which we recommend should relate to a law unit studied as part of your degree. The Practice of Law for the Elderly Client is available as a CILEx Level 3 unit, which would not contribute to your GFTD but would be relevant to the practice area.
What have other students achieved?
Ann Deavall is a Chartered Legal Executive in the private client department of law firm, having started her CILEx studies when working as a legal secretary.