Dementia can be a difficult diagnosis to process and deal with. Given the nature of the disease, and providing you are diagnosed early enough, you have time to prepare for a future where you’ll no longer have the capacity to make legal decisions.
It is crucial to have a Will in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out once you pass away. With a dementia diagnosis, it becomes even more critical to have your Will finalised as soon as possible, while your decisions are still legally binding. You’ll need to hire the services of specialist will and probate solicitors to make sure what you draft will hold up in court, but there are things you can do before and after the finalisation of your Will that will help.
These four tips can help you ensure that your wishes will be followed after you pass away:
You should act as soon as possible so that you have the legal right to make a Will – the document is invalid if you lack mental capacity. The law defines capacity as being able to make decisions themselves with an understanding of the benefits and the risks. This is particularly important when making your Will as there are many things to take into account, such as how your estate will be divided and who will inherit what.
Ensuring that you are ready for all the questions that could come up and have questions of your own should lessen some of the anxiety of the appointment. If you have the appointment in a solicitor’s office to discuss the creation of your Will, make sure you have a close friend or family member you trust by your side. They can offer moral support and ensure that you cover everything on your list of questions.
It is essential to have a solicitor that understands how a dementia diagnosis can affect someone’s future. It helps to check whether or not they have expertise in the field, or perhaps are even part of a specialist team that helps people with dementia manage their legal affairs. You may find that a solicitor with experience in writing wills can make you feel more comfortable drafting your own.
Most solicitors will store your Will for you, but it is important to remember that if a Will is lost, damaged or thrown away, it is no longer valid. Consider keeping a copy of your Will in a safe place. You can also register your Will with the Probate Service so that if for any reason your Will is misplaced, there is a certified copy. Be sure to make your loved ones aware of this.
By following these tips, you can quickly create your Will and ensure that your wishes are carried out once your illness progresses.
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