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As part of our service at Harris Tate, we produce a range of legal articles that are published in various media, designed to alert our clients to legal developments that may affect them.

Our legal articles are written by lawyers and legal executives and discuss legal aspects relating to industries, businesses and individuals as well as focusing on everyday legal topics of interest.  These articles provide information to help educate our clients on different topics and current events in the law.  They may raise additional questions.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or to discuss your individual situation in more detail.

Decision Making in Senior Years

6 May 2016

Sometimes life throws us a curveball. Mental incapacity can strike due to illness, accident or advanced age.

It is important to legally record now who can make decisions for you when you can no longer do so. By taking control now, you can save time, money and unnecessary stress on your loved ones.

Your nominated decision makers, known as “attorneys”, must be formally appointed while you are still mentally capable. If you don’t appoint your own attorneys, the Court will do so when required.

Choosing the right people to act as your attorneys can be difficult.

Two distinct attorney roles exist, each requiring a different set of qualities. A property attorney should be financially savvy and a welfare attorney should be compassionate and caring. Both should clearly understand your wishes.

If you choose different attorneys for each role, it is essential that your attorneys are able to work together on your behalf. Family disharmony can result in your needs not being met.

A Will is another essential document that you need to put in place while you are mentally capable. If you don’t have a Will legislation will dictate who is to benefit from your assets.

Particular care needs to be taken when considering who to appoint as your executor – the person or institution in charge of executing your final wishes. Picking the right person can help ensure the prompt, accurate distribution of your possessions, while minimising potential family friction.

Care must be taken to choose the right people to rely on when you need it most. We are here to assist you through that process.

- Jess Holtom
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