If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a debilitating condition, which may at some point affect your ability to make decisions for yourself, there will be a lot that you need to think about. Among the issues to be considered is who should step into your shoes to make decisions on your behalf, how you would like your personal and financial affairs to be dealt with, how you would like to be cared for on a day-to-day basis, whether you want treatment to keep you alive if your health deteriorates, and who you would like to inherit from you when you die.
By law, important decisions like this can only be made by someone who has the mental capacity to know what they are doing and who can evaluate all the relevant circumstances. For example, you can only make a will if you:
- understand what making a will means and its effect;
- appreciate the extent of your assets; and
- are capable of considering potential beneficiaries in a fair and objective way, unaffected by any condition that might affect your judgement.
At Mooney Everett Solicitors, our expert wills and probate lawyers are experienced in helping people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia which will eventually affect their mental capacity. Working in partnership, we can help you to put in place the legal protections necessary to safeguard your interests and to ensure your final wishes are carried out.
Our services include help with:
- making a lasting power of attorney, so that you can nominate one or more people who you trust to make decisions on your behalf about your property and financial affairs, and your health and wellbeing, when you are no longer able to make them for yourself;
- making an advance decision, so that you can decide now what sorts of treatment you would like to receive in the future, and which your relatives and medical professionals will be legally obliged to respect;
- making or updating a will, so that those who you wish to benefit from your estate are clearly identified and appropriately provided for;
- organising your affairs, and the terms of your will, in the most tax efficient way possible;
- preparing a letter of wishes to explain your will where you want things to be dealt with in a specific way or where anything you have chosen to do may be controversial and therefore susceptible to challenge, such as leaving a large sum to charity or excluding someone from entitlement; and, importantly
- obtaining independent confirmation from a doctor that, at the time any relevant decisions were made or documents prepared, you had the mental capacity to understanding what you were doing and to make informed choices.
If you have been diagnosed with a condition which will affect your mental capacity, it is important that you take steps to protect your position and put your affairs in order as soon as possible.
At Mooney Everett, we will explain things in plain English, free of any jargon. We will discuss all the options with you, outlining the costs involved from the outset, and make sure that you are kept regularly informed about the steps we are taking on your behalf.
We can also help you with: