Why use an SFE Member?
SFE members have a wealth of experience and training which helps put people at their ease when dealing with complex, life changing issues
SFE is a national association of independent lawyers who specialise in older client law. Just as importantly our members are also trained in older client care. They can consider the mental and physical difficulties which can affect older and vulnerable clients and are aware of the health and social problems that people may face.
Our members will provide independent, confidential advice, which is in the best interests of older or vulnerable clients, respecting their dignity and understand the need for a holistic approach to problem solving. They will endeavour to follow a plain English policy i.e. they will always communicate in easy, understandable language and will explain any necessary legal terminology.
Our members have a wealth of experience and training which helps put people at their ease when dealing with complex, life changing issues.
Membership to SFE is entirely voluntary. This means that our members are truly dedicated to this field as they are already highly qualified, regulated and insured before they join us!
We ONLY refer members of the public to our Full Accredited Members
All SFE Full Accredited Members:
- Are specialists in advising older and vulnerable clients on legal matters
- Are fully qualified solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives who have all undertaken additional specialist training in older client law
- Have spent a substantial amount of their time working with older and vulnerable clients – a minimum of 3 years in most cases.
- Have gained the Older Client Care in Practice Award (see panel) which is accredited by SfJ (Skills for Justice) a government body. The award shows that they have the required additional skills to be able to advise and support older and vulnerable people
- Have signed up to our strict code of practice
- Are committed to providing affordable, good quality legal advice
- Are regulated by their professional bodies such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Keep their knowledge and skills up to date by undertaking regular training
- Follow a specific older client care procedure which details what clients can expect from them and their dealings with the member’s firm.
- Have access to our expert forum where they can pick the brains of over 1500 experts
Our Members can help you with:
- Making a Will
- Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills
- Tax planning
- Asset preservation
- Paying for care
- NHS Continuing Care Funding
- Court of Protection
- Elder abuse
The SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award
Before they can join SFE, lawyers must complete our externally accredited qualification – the SFE Older Client Care in Practice Award (OCCP). The qualification is all about non-legal skills or “soft skills” – like a doctor’s bedside manner.
The qualification focuses on understanding the key illnesses and frailties of old age and vulnerability – hearing, sight, capacity, mobility, dementia, so that SFE members are able to provide the best support to their clients, to help them to make their wishes understood and are able to act in their best interests. They also learn the skills to help them check that their clients are not being pressured, coerced or abused.
Members are also encouraged to consider the environment in which they see their clients – office/home/hospital/care home as well as the time of day, to best suit them to ensure they give their clients the best possible chance to communicate and make their wishes understood.