Traditionally, planning for your future meant making a Will, providing for your loved ones and friends after your passing. A will is essential where you wish to plan for such eventuality. It allows you to ensure that your wishes are followed concerning your property and affairs. It can also be useful in planning for the devolution of your estate in a tax efficient manner. You should have a will, and if you do have a will, you should review it at least once every five years.
We have now however adopted a more holistic approach in future planning, we now refer to it as Lifetime planning. If you are prepared to plan for life after your death, why not plan for life before death?
The “Holy Trinity” of Lifetime Planning up until recently comprised of a Will, an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Advance Health-Care Directive.
A will provides for your property and affairs after your passing.
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you appoint someone to act as your Attorney to make certain decisions for you at a future date when you no longer have the ability to make those decisions for yourself.
An Advance Health-Care Directive allows you appoint someone to act as your healthcare representative to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them yourself.
A new system of support has now been introduced for people with intellectual disabilities, older people with diminished capacity or dementia and people whose capacity ahs been affected by traumatic injury.
The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 introduced for the first time Decision-Making Assistance Agreements; Co-Decision Making Agreements; and for the appointment of Decision-Making Representative Orders.
It provided for the first time a Statutory presumption of Capacity and a graduated system of support, support meaning different things to different people depending on their needs.
It empowers people to make their own decisions and respect the right of human beings to make choices for themselves and at all times to be treated with dignity and respect.