Dementia and the impact to your will

Dementia and the impact to your will

Dementia and the impact to your will

by | Inheritance

As our population lives longer, the prevalence of dementia is more common.   Current statistics from the Free State University of South Africa suggest that of the 30% of the ageing population who complain about poor memory, at least 10% may develop Alzheimer’s.  Court cases contesting the mental capacity of the impaired individual are sadly becoming more commonplace.

How does this increasing wave of mental illness affect the validity of your will?  How can you mitigate this if there is a family history?  Can you still draft a will if you have been diagnosed with dementia?

If you are at risk, the sooner you begin to plan your estate and inheritance, the more likely your estate will be distributed as you wish.

If you do not have a will in place and have been diagnosed, the validity of the will you draft depends on your mental condition at the time you sign the will.  Any contest to your will would have to prove your lack of lucidity and if they did so, your estate would be distributed according to the intestacy law of the relevant country.

If you already have a will and receive a dementia diagnosis, the will remains valid.   It would be inadvisable to change the will post diagnosis but each situation is unique.  You may still be able to manage your affairs and make decisions for some time after diagnosis.

You can be even more proactive and dispose of your property whilst you are alive.  You may wish to make donations to people or charities whilst you can enjoy the rewards of this.

You can also be proactive, knowing that at some point you may be unable to manage your affairs.  You might want to consider establishing power of attorney for a trusted person to administer your life when you no longer can.  Powers of attorney are country specific and must be established and registered with the appropriate authorities whilst you still have capacity to do so.  In some states, ‘curatorship’ can only be applied for once you are incapable.  But you can still prepare and talk to those whom you wish to represent you.

As well as a will and powers of attorney, it may be also be prudent to consult a financial planner.  You may want to ensure your money is working as hard as it can and that whomever takes responsibility for it, can easily manage your finances.

If you need to start planning your legacy, contact us today.

 

 

 

 

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"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK...

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

2018-06-05T07:59:04+00:00

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

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Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

2018-06-05T08:30:28+00:00

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

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"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a...

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

2018-06-05T08:37:50+00:00

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a project we all can easily put off, it removed an area of stress in my life. I no longer had to wonder if certain people would be taken care of, or where my money would go. Cindy and I worked through the process and she asked a lot of thought provoking questions. The first draft helped me think a second layer down, and made the will more complete. We finalised with her lawyer, signed, witnessed and put away in a safe place, letting my executor know exactly where to find it. I do not hesitate to recommend Cindy’s services."
"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid...

Moray Iles, Vietnam

2018-06-05T08:42:23+00:00

Moray Iles, Vietnam

"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid putting pressure or hassle to complete the Will quickly which allowed us to consider everything in our own time. Best of all, Cindy's professional support and thorough and clear explanation of the laws pertaining to our situation were very helpful. We would look forward to working with Cindy again on documents personal to our family."
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