The law surrounding incapacity: time to dispel a few myths

We wrote an earlier blog relating to research from the SFE, which revealed an incapacity crisis-causing gulf between those who planned for mental incapacity and those who didn’t. Despite a growing concern among individuals, and how their mental state may deteriorate, it seems that excuses for not getting their affairs in order are boiling down to a few common myths.

Myth 1 – It passes on regardless.

The SFE’s research reveals that some 65% of people incorrectly believe that any decision-making defaults to next of kin. However, this is simply not the case. Without any legal documentation, there is no way to immediately pass any decision making to family, including partners and children.

Myth 2 – Finance and asset decisions are covered, and therefore so is mental capacity.

Again, not true. Any decision making regarding finances and assets are held separately to wishes relating to your health and/or your care when it comes to later life.

Myth 3 – The problem is relatively small, why are we worrying?

No it isn’t. In considering the number of over-65 year olds in the UK (those who run the biggest risk of developing dementia), there are around 12.8 million, versus just 928,000 who have some kind of legal documentation in place. This demonstrates an expanding gap of nearly 93%.

The legal documentation is simple and it could save your family and loved ones any additional turmoil. A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – or H&W LPW – will help securely determine who you would like to nominate in the event of any mental incapacity.

The best thing to do is to get your affairs in order at your earliest opportunity. Downs Solicitors can provide further information regarding wills, LPAs or any other information relating to family law. Contact us for more information.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office