Dementia and Incapacity: What is a Power of Attorney and is it Forever?

Dementia and Incapacity: What is a Power of Attorney and is it Forever?

Although the actual prevalence per capita of dementia is reportedly on the decline, aging populations ensure that it is becoming more and more of a problem in society - for older people, their families and caregivers. If someone close to you (normally an aging parent or relative) needs - or may in the future need - assistance with their financial affairs, your first thought will probably be a power of attorney by which the “principal” appoints an “agent” to act for him/her, either for a particular purpose (a ‘special power of attorney’) or generally (a ‘general power of attorney’). You…
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Your Last Will: The Dire Consequences of Neglecting Formalities

Your Last Will: The Dire Consequences of Neglecting Formalities

As a general rule our law holds us to our agreements and statements, whether we express them verbally, electronically or in written form. But there are exceptions – some things just have to be in writing and signed before the law will recognise them. One of those exceptions is quite possibly the most important document you will ever sign – your “Last Will and Testament”. Ultimately it’s your final gift to your loved ones – a gift that ensures they are properly provided for when (not “if”) you die. Don’t neglect this or procrastinate - without a will you have…
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We’ll draft a will for you for free during Wills Week

We’ll draft a will for you for free during Wills Week

Ashersons Attorneys is proud to announce that we are taking part in the Law Society of South Africa's National Wills Week which is held annually from 17 to 21 September 2018. Why must you have a will? By making a will you ensure that your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes after your death. This privilege is called "freedom of testation". Why should an attorney draft your will? Attorneys are professionals qualified in law. An attorney can advise you on any problem which may arise with regard to your will. An attorney has the necessary knowledge and…
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Do You Need an “Advance Directive” or a “Living Will”?

Do You Need an “Advance Directive” or a “Living Will”?

If you don’t want to be kept artificially alive - without your consent and perhaps in pain and distress - long after your medical condition becomes hopeless, you need to communicate your decision now to the doctors, hospitals and loved ones who will be caring for you at the end. Incapacitation can strike without warning and at any time, so prioritise this whilst you are still mentally and physically competent to express your wishes. Living Will v Advance Directive:  What’s the difference? Both are “advance health care directives”, expressions of your wishes for future care.  Both become effective only when…
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7 Myths About Making a Will

7 Myths About Making a Will

If you haven’t made your will yet, get it done now.  Why is that so important and how should you go about it? To answer that let’s debunk a few of the more pervasive myths and misconceptions around those questions – Myth 1:- “I’m too young to need a will” Of course the older you get, the greater your chance of dying from illness or disease.  But conversely, the younger you are the higher your risk of sudden violent death.  For example our road fatality stats (amongst the highest in the world) show that 80 percent of deaths are in…
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Your Will and a practical plan for your loved ones

Your Will and a practical plan for your loved ones

Whether you are young or old, healthy or ill, single or attached, you should have a Will.  Without one, you die “intestate”, which means you forfeit your right to decide who inherits what, who administers and distributes your estate, and who looks after your children and their money.  You owe it to your loved ones to spare them the inevitable financial and personal risks. So if you don’t yet have a will get one drawn up immediately. Here’s a practical guide to making sure that it will protect and provide for your loved ones properly. Do it properly with a…
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Write your will today! Four good reasons to do it now

Write your will today! Four good reasons to do it now

“We used to terrorize our babysitters when I was little, except for my grandfather because he used to read to us from his will” (comic Janine Ditullio) Whether you are young or old, healthy or ailing, wealthy or not-so-wealthy, married or single – you must have a will. To Will or not to Will? Dying “intestate” (i.e. without leaving a valid will) means your loved ones must deal with a whole series of legal and financial risks just when they are least able to cope with any additional trauma. Only by leaving a valid will can you protect your family…
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