Thinking about your legal affairs is a vital step once a diagnosis of dementia is confirmed. There may be implications from the diagnosis which need to be considered sooner rather than later. A diagnosis doesn’t mean a person is unable to make legal decisions, but this is likely to change as time passes.

Here are two important areas.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that sets out who you would like to manage your legal, financial and certain personal care decisions for you. It comes into effect if you reach a point where you cannot make these decisions yourself.

This person is called your Attorney.  You can choose a family member or friend to become your Attorney.  Setting up an EPA is a good idea.  It means that you can state who you want to manage this area for you when you can no longer do this.

You need to create this document while you are able to manage your legal and financial affairs.  Once it is set up, nothing will happen, unless and until you reach a point when you cannot manage your legal and financial affairs any more.

You need a Solicitor to create an EPA.

You will need to get a medical opinion from your Doctor that confirms you understand the EPA and what it means at the time you sign the document.

Your Attorney will only begin to manage your legal and financial affairs for you when there is a medical report that confirms you can no longer manage your affairs yourself.

Here are some questions and points to think about:

  1. Who would you like included in discussions about your medical condition and discussions about your health and medical care?
  2. Are there cultural or religious preferences that you would like health care staff to know about if taking care of you?
  3. Where you would most like to be cared for as the dementia progresses?
  4. Who would you like to visit you, or not visit you, as your dementia progresses?

It is a good idea to make sure that people know what is important to you.   You can:


  • Talk to your family or a trusted person.
  • Write down your wishes and preferences and keep this in a safe place with your financial documents.
  • Create an Advance Healthcare Directive.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse about your dementia and what may happen as your dementia progresses.


 A Will puts you in control. Having spent your life accumulating your assets, do you really want to have no say in how these assets are distributed after your death?

You can appoint people you have confidence in to see that your wishes are carried out after your death. You can also give them specific directions in a wide range of matters.

You can provide for the safe devolution of your Family Home.

You can make provision for children with special needs or requirements.

If unmarried, you can make adequate and tax advantageous provision for your Life Partner.

In the absence of a Will, your husband/wife will not automatically inherit your estate; this is a common misconception.

A well thought out Will drafted in consultation with your Solicitor can achieve significant Tax Savings.

A Will is an effective instrument for blocking certain Family Members from inheriting or from having any role in the arrangement of your funeral service or administration of your estate.

And finally and most importantly, you can achieve PEACE OF MIND


Contact: Nicholas Russell Solicitor

Main Street, Graignamanagh, County Kilkenny

Tel: 059 9724106




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