Powers of Attorney
Many can look forward to living longer than in the past, but with advancing years both physical and mental impairment is likely to increase and with it the need for assistance in relation to managing personal care and financial issues. Long before the day arrives when a person may be incapable of making decisions for their own welfare it may be advisable for responsibility for certain matters to be transferred to someone more able. That person should have the time and knowledge to deal competently as an attorney with the care of the patient.
And it is not just advancing age that makes an attorney a strongly advised safeguard – accidents at home, while at work or travelling can lead to impairment and disability that affects mental capacity.
The time to consider these possibilities is now when you are able to make the decision as to who you trust to make decisions for you when and if you become incapable of doing so yourself.
The same test for mental capacity applies as for the making of a Will. The ability to know what the testator is deciding is essential and that means understanding the implications of any decision including the size and nature of a gift or omission from a Will. Cases have established a number of tests that must be satisfied where the wishes of testator in a Will are under challenge in order for the Will to be pronounced as valid.