There are lots of questions surrounding the validity of a Will being drawn up by someone after they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other long term conditions which affect mental capacity. Eldermera has the answers to these questions, and offers legal advise for people diagnosed with dementia.
If you or a loved one are still capable of fully understanding the decisions you are making in the early stages after diagnosis, then you can make a Will to determine where and how your property and assets will be distributed after you pass away.
This can be another important step to ensure that you have put your financial affairs in order to avoid complications further down the line. And if you had already made a Will prior to the diagnosis, you may wish to change or update it as your living circumstances will be subject to significant changes, not least in terms of long term care planning.
Starting to write a ‘Last Will and Testament’ and perhaps engaging with a solicitor or a legal expert may also encourage you to think about other legal steps you might need to take regarding your care, such as an ‘advance decision’ about medical treatment or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) arrangement so that someone can officially look after your affairs when you no longer have the mental capacity to make important decisions.
“Eldermera’s legal team is highly experienced in the legal aspects of long term care arrangements, including drawing up Wills, obtaining medical evidence and helping you decide how to maximise your financial assets.”
Making a Will after the diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s hinges on whether the patient has what is called ‘testamentary capacity‘. This is basically the need to be able to understand what it all means and its likely impact on your family, carers and those around you. If you or a loved one still possesses testamentary capacity, then the appropriate legal documentation which decides to whom money and possessions will go after you pass on can be drawn up and validated.
A Will also gives you a chance to take a much closer look at everything you own and how your long term care arrangements and associated costs are likely to affect that. You will be asked to name beneficiaries to be listed in the Will and the reasons for leaving things to them, as well as an executor to carry out your final wishes.
When someone has drawn up a Will after a dementia diagnosis, it needs to be as clear as possible that they understand the steps they are taking. The Will may be subject to dispute later on, but there are measures you can take to avoid this and minimise risks.
When your Will is being put together, it is advisable for you to obtain a medical opinion of your condition at the time. This can be used as medical evidence in court if your wishes are disputed later on. It will help to confirm that when you drew up your Will, you still had the mental capacity to fully understand the steps you were taking and their impact on others.
For help drawing up your Will, call Eldermera today. Our elderly care service offers bespoke legal advice to people with dementia and their carers.
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