Scotland has a very generous legal aid system for pensioners.  A pensioner can be on a state pension, have a modest private income, £26,664 of savings and still get legal aid for vital issues.  For a pensioner couple the limit is £26,999.  Issues of most interest to pensioners are writing a Will, appointing an Attorney to look after the pensioner‘s affairs should that person fall ill and become incapable of dealing with things.  There is also an increasing demand amongst pensioners to prepare Advance Healthcare Directives (otherwise known as Living Wills) which state the person’s wishes regarding medical treatment in extreme situations.  But legal advice is also available for many other matters covered by the Legal Advice and Assistance Scheme. However, this year the Scottish Legal Aid Board have already intimated an increase in civil applications of 24%.  This and the certainty of government cuts to come could mean that this generous benefit to pensioners could be under threat in the future. David Borrowman, Managing Partner of Caesar and Howie, states “We believe  probably over 80% of Scottish pensioners could have their affairs put in order either free or at a significantly subsidised cost using legal aid.  Having these documents in place is massively helpful to families.  Powers of Attorney in particular, can save families the stress of court actions should a family member become unable to look after themselves.” It is possible however that legal aid will be less easy to get in the future.  David continues “I understand the Scottish budget is protected for this year but will not be after that.  I hope legal aid is ring fenced since it helps the more vulnerable in our society – but who knows what may be cut in the future.  My advice to senior citizens is to act now – get these family care documents done whilst legal aid is available.”