As well as drawing up a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney while you still have the mental capacity to do so, there are other things to consider with regard to the financial assets and costs of long term care for someone with dementia, including the need to appoint executors and trustees to manage your estate and put tax planning provisions in place to protect your family when you have passed away.
It is by no means an easy thing to discuss, but one of the questions you need to consider is what happens to your estate when you pass away. Who will you appoint as executor(s) of your Will, and who will be responsible for obtaining grant of probate or letters of administration so that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes?
There can be further complications in cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s. There has been a rise in recent years in the number of cases where Wills and the administration of estate assets have been disputed where the deceased was a dementia patient.
The area of trusts and inheritance tax law can in itself be complex, especially in cases where someone’s Will or dying wishes about the beneficiaries of their estate are in dispute.
“If you need advice on planning how your estate and property assets will be administered both during your long term care and after you have passed away, especially to protect against family disputes, Eldermera can help you find the right legal solutions.”
Disputes can arise in a number of ways, whether between executors themselves or in relation to obtaining grant of probate. You may face a situation where there is a claim that a trustee or executor has acted in breach of their duty, or an assertion that there should be some financial provision or entitlement to a disaffected family member or excluded beneficiary.
This brings the importance of making a Will with appropriate medical evidence to support it into much sharper focus, especially in regard to appointing executors and trustees to manage your estate, as well as tax planning provisions to help safeguard future financial security for your family after you have passed away.
The main point to bear in mind in making legal and financial long term arrangements in advance is that their validity may be measured later on as to whether the person had the mental capacity and clarity to understand what they were doing at the time.
You also need to be careful about what you do with your property and assets while you are still alive.
Gifts you distribute which may still be subject to inheritance tax after your death. You cannot simply give your home or money away to family, or use other means which may be considered later as ‘deprivation of assets’. You do not want your loved ones footing the bill for your care and having to deal with inheritance tax and probate complications after you are gone. Your executor may require funds from your remaining estate to be used to meet the costs of care and to cover inheritance tax paid to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Disputes about inheritance can be highly contentious and expensive to litigate. If you are concerned about future family disputes, talk to Eldermera today for bespoke legal advice for anyone diagnosed with dementia.
Why not schedule a free consultation today?