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Trusts & Estates Alert – Preparing for Incapacity

Article published by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Attorneys on 13th July 2018

Preparing for incapacity

Families are sometimes confronted with the emotionally taxing and difficult problem of assisting a family member, who lacks capacity, with their affairs. The cause of such malady may be physical, mental or both. With increased longevity so, too, rises the prevalence of dementia. Typically, the care of the elderly persons falls on their adult child. To provide such care, the “child” often needs to access their parent’s funds to settle ongoing expenses or sell an asset to re-home their parent. Many hold out a Power of Attorney as proof of their entitlement to manage the person’s finances and estate. Unfortunately, this reliance is misguided and unlawful.

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