This week, I have had a very sad meeting with a family who has just received a diagnosis of early onset dementia. The gentleman concerned, is only 57 years of age and otherwise very fit and healthy. His wife had started to notice that his behaviour was changing about a year ago. He started becoming obsessive over things, that he would normally not even of noticed. He now faces a very daunting prognosis.
One of the reasons I was asked to meet with them is that the gentleman, is the only attorney for his aunt’s Lasting Power of Attorney. Thankfully she still retains full mental capacity and we are able to create a new document with fresh attorneys. This wouldn’t have been necessary if at the time of creating her original documents replacement attorneys had been appointed.
Much as no-one wants to think about these things happening it is always worth taking a ‘belt and braces’ approach to both Lasting Power of Attorney and Will writing. I always like to see a second tier for Attorneys, Executors, Guardians and beneficiaries. Once someone has gone to the time and expense of making these documents you want them to be robust enough of stand the test of time.
I suggest that my clients review their Wills every three years but this doesn’t mean that they necessarily need to be changed. As we go through the different stages of our lives, we have different needs and what is crucial when we have young children, is not relevant when we approach retirement. For the sake of a couple of hours, every few years you will ensure that you needs and wishes are met. When put like that, surely it’s worth taking the time and trouble to consider making or reviewing your Will and Lasting Power of Attorney.