Your parents are at risk of making bad financial decisions

Your parents are at risk of making bad financial decisions

Geraldine Macpherson is a Legal Marketing Specialist. She offers insights into how current SA law protects ageing parents and gives advice on measures to have in place The reality for those of us over the age of 40 is that our parents are ageing. One of the biggest risks for the elderly is bad financial decision-making. These are often a result of falling for scams, or being in a situation where they’re mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions. Your parents may want to give you general power of attorney to deal with their affairs. This provides you with the right to transact on their behalf when they’re not physically present, but what many people don’t realise is that as soon as the person granting the power of attorney lacks mental capacity, then the power of attorney they signed becomes null and void, and continuing to act on it amounts to fraud. So, while a power of attorney gives you the right to stand in a queue and sign the documents when your parent is too physically frail to do so, once he or she has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, that power of attorney is no longer valid and may not be used. Don’t allow power of attorney to be abused  Time and again we see abuse of powers of attorney by children manipulating their parents to benefit themselves, often at the expense of siblings, and at times even blatantly stealing from their parents. It must be accepted that those who lack mental capacity are extremely vulnerable and thus strict measures are in place to protect them. In countries...
Assist with Wills

Assist with Wills

We also assist client’s with their Wills. People are welcome to contact us. Can anyone be prevented from benefiting from a will?  A person will be prevented from benefiting from a will if they intentionally cause the death of the testator, conceal the will or defraud beneficiaries of their rightful inheritance by forging a will. Also, witnesses to a will and their spouses may not benefit from a will. Must I amend my will after divorce?  If you die within three months of getting divorced and you did not amend your will, your former spouse will be regarded as being predeceased at the date of your death. After three months, it will be assumed that you intended your former spouse to inherit from you. The three-month period starts from the date on the divorce order, so it is advisable to review your will. How can a will be amended? You may amend your will at any time as long as you have the capacity to act. Most often, testators will redraft their entire will to replace any previous will. It is dangerous to make changes to your will by writing on an existing will because there is a risk that the handwritten changes may not comply with the legal requirements. What must I do if a testator cannot sign their name?  The testator may make a mark on the will, which must be certified by a Commissioner of Oaths. The commissioner’s certificate must confirm the testator’s identity and that it is the will of the...