There May Be Trouble Ahead

Emery Johnson Astills

No one knows what life has in store. But you’re a responsible parent. So you’ve made a will and appointed trustees and guardians for your children. And, having done your best for them, you hope your family won’t need to find out, or at least not for a very long time. 

After all, modern medicine is amazing. Diseases which might have been a death sentence less than a generation ago can now be managed into old age. Life-threatening injuries need no longer be fatal. 

But, as Jane Hinds of Emery Johnson Astills explains, these medical advances have brought their own challenges. 

With increasing life expectancy, more of us are affected by debilitating conditions like dementia. Anyone caring for an older relative with dementia will tell you about the anguish of attempting to make the decisions about their care and financial affairs that they would have made for themselves. 

Films like Iris, in which Judi Dench plays Iris Murdoch as she descends into total reliance on her devoted but often frustrated husband, and high profile cases including that of author Terry Pratchett who, conscious of his own rare form of dementia, documented his deterioration until he no longer could, are raising awareness of the issues. 

Recent campaigning around the Assisted Dying Bill also highlighted that mental incapacity is not just a later life issue. It can happen to anyone, at any time, and can be even more devastating when tragedy strikes a young family. 

What’s more, whatever decisions you’ve set out in your will won’t come into force if, through illness or injury, you lose the capacity to make decisions in life. So your family could be thrown into financial uncertainty as well as emotional distress. 

But there are two things you can do for your family today, which will show them how much you care should you become unable to look after them tomorrow: 

Advance Decisions 

This legal document, also known as a living will, is an increasingly common addition to a regular will. Advance Decisions allow you to express your wishes, should you lose the capacity to communicate decisions regarding your care and treatment in the future. 

Lasting Powers of Attorney 

You can’t anticipate every medical or financial decision you might have to make, so this legal document names people you trust absolutely as attorneys to make decisions about your health care or property and financial affairs on your behalf, should you lose the ability to do so yourself. 

You can limit a Lasting Power of Attorney or cancel it at any time while you are mentally capable, in the same way as you would your will. 

The specialist wills and probate solicitors at Emery Johnson Astills can help you appoint attorneys and set-out your Advance Decisions in a way which must be respected in future. 


Contact  on 0116 2554855 to find out more.