What happens if I lose mental capacity?
Apr 16, 2021
Mental capacity is a person’s ability to make decisions for themselves.
It’s something that many of us take for granted; we choose where to live, what to do with our money, what medical treatment we’re happy to receive. But for those who lose mental capacity, or who never had it, decisions about daily life are put in the hands of others. It is for those appointed people to make judgment calls on that person’s behalf, always with the mentally incapacitated person’s best interests at heart.
This is a situation that could become the reality for any one of us. An illness or accident could rob us of our ability to properly take care of ourselves and the things we own. In some cases, the Court of Protection will appoint a ‘deputy’ and will assign specific responsibilities to him or her. However, that can be avoided – and some say in the matter can be retained by the mentally incapacitated person – by having put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. This is a legal document, written while there is full mental capacity. It specifies who should become your ‘attorney’ or ‘attorneys’ in the event that you go on to become unable to make decisions about your property and finances, and your health and welfare.
We recommend that everyone considers making a Lasting Power of Attorney. There is great comfort in having this provision: you mightn’t need it, but it’s there if you do. It also means that your chosen attorneys – people you know and trust to understand and act in your best interests – are prepared. They have the opportunity to talk to you about your wishes while you still can. And these types of conversations often lead into wider discussions about later-life planning – something that too few families engage in.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can usually be put in place quickly and easily. Our team is here to help you do that. Please contact our Private Client Team on 01264 353411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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