The wasted thousands being spent by older people on useless Trust packages – solicitor outlines her concerns to local MP.
Free Home Energy Warmth checks for anyone over 65 and on a low income are being offered by Age UK Lindsey as it looks to help the most vulnerable people in our society to save money and keep warm this winter.
These checks were highlighted by the charity’s team during their visit to the 2019 Older People’s Fair, which was hosted at Horncastle’s Stanhope Hall by Victoria Atkins MP.
Also, at the fair to offer advice was Wilkin Chapman solicitors with Horncastle-based senior solicitor Lucy Butterfint taking the opportunity to raise the issue of unregulated advisers once again.
Lucy has been vocal in her condemnation of a number of these ‘advisers’ who advertise and sell trust packages to older people, saying they will protect their properties should they need to pay for care in the future. However, when these packages are examined by lawyers, they are often found to be very expensive and totally unsuitable. In the past Lucy has retrieved thousands of pounds for people who were sold such packages, while also stopping others from purchasing them.
“This is about awareness raising. These firms will put out glossy brochures and hire venues for presentations, and often use the word ‘legal’ in their branding so people assume they are regulated and fully knowledgeable. The problem is the majority are not, and they will not offer the correct advice but often charge between £2,000 and £4,000 for the privilege of selling Trusts which are not appropriate for the circumstances – a waste of thousands of pounds,” said Lucy.
Meanwhile Age UK Lindsey’s Business Development Manager Claire Goff was keen to ensure elderly people were prepared for winter and applied for the EON energy warmth checks, which are available to people over 65 and on a low income.
“There is so much that can be offered to help people through the cold weather with funded equipment available, such as night lights, clock timers and low energy bulbs, things that not only save money but make homes safer,” said Claire.
Her colleague, Benefits Manager Sue White highlighted the various benefits, such as Warm Home Discount, that are available to vulnerable people but can go unclaimed due to a lack of awareness. Age UK Lindsey carries out benefit checks at its regular drop-ins at Horncastle Community Centre from 10am until 1pm on the second Thursday of every month, along with similar sessions in Louth at their drop-in centre and in Gainsborough. For more information on all the venues and times go to www.ageuk.org.uk/lindsey/