For all of us with whom the prime of our youth is but a distant memory we generally find ourselves in one of two camps.
One is the grown up child with ageing parents or the other an elderly parent with adult children.
In either case whether from the parent’s perspective or the child’s viewpoint the subject of old age and the hurdles it more often than not entails are never too far from the front of mind.
Sadly, difficult discussions about less than happy possibilities in the years ahead often remains unexplored leaving great difficulties for loved ones to deal with when problems of this kind come to our door.
One subject of this nature is the loss of mental capacity. It is estimated that one in three people in the UK over 65 will develop some form of dementia, but who will run their affairs when they get to a stage they are incapable?
The Mental Capacity Act 2005, which will allow family members and other trusted people to manage money on behalf of loved ones under what is known as a lasting power of attorney is a sensible provision.
This allows another person to make decisions where a person has lost mental capacity, but they can only be set up when the person is still considered able to make decisions for themselves.
At Pearcelegal we often deal with the affairs of people who have lost their mental faculties leaving the families having to apply to manage a formal application.
It’s not an easy process where legal expertise is needed. It could be avoided if more people faced up to what lies in store.
If we could give the public some simple advice, we would urge them to face up to what the future may have in store and make a Will, review it regularly and discuss with a solicitor Lasting Power of Attorney.
Very few of us want to spend too much time dwelling on our own demise, but we owe it to our loved ones to briefly consider it and take action. Those who arrange their affairs in time are taking a mature approach to issues, which affect the majority yet so many do nothing about, leaving great problems that we as lawyers regrettably see far too much of.
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