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Mirage of Old Age – The presumption of mental capacity

When we are young, old age seems a distant event and like a mirage, the closer we get to it the further away it seems.    However, the reality is that with the passing of years, no matter how young we may feel at heart, we become older and can in time become fragile and vulnerable.AGE CONCERN LOGO                                                       ochjpgsmall

Bates Solicitors Managing Director Ian MacDonald is a Trustee of both Age Concern Hampshire and The Odiham Cottage Hospital Trust, two charities whose objectives include improving the quality of life for the elderly and offering both advice and support to the elderly themselves and their families and carers.

In a recent Law Society update, the issue of capacity was again raised in connection with the ability of an individual to make decisions for themselves.  Many of the older generation are fearful of losing their independence and autonomy.

However, the Law Society reiterates that it must be presumed that a person has capacity until it is proven without a doubt that this is not the case.   Depending on the decision to be made, capacity can change with the time of day.   Individuals in the early stage of dementia for example may be lucid in the morning but less so as the day progresses.   Equally, a person suffering from a urinary tract infection may have little capacity to make important decisions whilst unwell.   These factors must be taken into consideration when considering mental capacity.

Life events can occur unexpectedly and our solicitors are aware of the sometimes urgent need to provide documents for signature at short notice and which may require home or hospital visits to take instructions and oversee signature.

Whether you wish to plan ahead or need a quick response to a life event, contact our Private Client solicitors.

Useful Links
MCA 2005 Code of Practice
Lasting powers of attorney
Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee
Dementia UK: Update – Alzheimer’s Society
Stroke Association

Who to contact ?

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