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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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The Elderly and the Law
Date:1 MAR 2011

Penny Booth

Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool University Centre for the Study of the Child, the Family and the Law

There is a very old joke that ends something like this - never make fun of the elderly because they did not get old by being stupid. Too true, but why should lawyers worry? The topic of ‘the elderly' in law is relatively new: it is part of family law, medical law and welfare law. Bits of the relevant law crop up in all sorts of places and a few large firms of solicitors are now making this into an area of law and a specialism, usually in the fields of financial management, wills, land and care homes but not necessarily in that order. The elderly seem, to those ‘outside', to need the law because they are either managing their own money or they are being managed, one way or another. We all hope to get old one day - think of the alternative, Peter Pan or death - and we have an ageing population. The intention of this article is to invite you to think about what the Americans term ‘elder law', and the implications of this for family law.

To read the rest of this article, see March [2011] Family Law journal.

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