Creating a Will with Dementia
- 30th May 2018
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Statistics indicate that there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. A common misconception is that people who have been diagnosed with dementia are unable to make a Will. This is not always the case.
Testamentary capacity is the legal term used to describe a person’s mental ability to make or alter a Will.
A testator must:
- Understand the nature of making a Will and its effects.
- Understand the extent of the property which is being disposed.
- Have no disorder of the mind that perverts their sense of right or prevents the exercise of their natural faculties.
For a Will to be valid, a person with dementia must be able to make decisions without the illness affecting their ability. If dementia has been diagnosed, this does not necessarily mean that a testator has no capacity to make a Will.
Although a medical opinion is not always required, it is advisable to obtain one if there is any doubt or questions relating to capacity issues.
Whatever the future may hold, it is always best to plan ahead. Making a Will before an illness such as dementia strikes can prevent there being any issues regarding capacity or the lack of it.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.
If you would like to discuss any of the above issues, or to receive some information relating to this subject please feel free to contact Maria Cosslett, Partner and Head of Probate, Wills and Trust at Loosemores:
Call: 029 2080 3116
Maria is also a Dementia Friend. If you would like to become a Dementia Friend or read about what they do, visit their website.