It is said that “there is only one certainty in life” and whilst we may all appreciate that a will is a sensible document to have in place to guard loved ones we do not always think of protecting those same loved ones from the effect of “mental incapacity”.
One in three of us will develop dementia. We may suffer a stroke, or have bouts of debilitating mental illness. Who then will look after your best interests?
If you lose your mental capacity without having made arrangements, the law can be full of unforeseen complexities. What often happens is that the person’s assets are frozen leaving relatives unable to use the person’s money for their care.
You might assume that if you have a joint account, or a house in joint names, you are fine. Not so. Someone lacking in capacity cannot sign a deed to transfer a half share of a house, or consent to expenditure from a joint account even if this is done in the person’s best interests.
The good news is that you can protect against mental incapacity. Lasting Powers of Attorney allow people to nominate a friend, loved-one or professional (such as a solicitor) to look after their affairs when they cannot do so. They are registered upfront giving piece of mind that their Attorney is accountable to the Court and to relatives.
Ask one of our private client solicitor's for more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney.