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Managing the Risk of Losing Capacity

“More and more, she was experiencing a growing distance from her self-awareness. Her sense of Alice—what she knew and understood, what she liked and disliked, how she felt and perceived—was also like a soap bubble, ever higher in the sky and more difficult to identify, with nothing but the thinnest lipid membrane protecting it from popping into thinner air.” Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Film and trivia buffs will know that Julianne Moore won an Oscar for best actress in 2015 for her role in Still Alice. The film was an adaptation of Lisa Genova’s book of the same name which tells the story of a linguistics professor in her 50s being diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s disease and her descent into incapacity.

Losing capacity at any time whether by accident, disease or old age can cause extreme stress and anxiety for the person affected, their family and friends. For Alice and her family her descent into incapacity was shocking.

Risk management is all about planning for the future. Putting in place a plan for dealing with the most terrible of outcomes is being proactive, sensible and a means of reducing stress and anxiety. Talking about incapacity and planning for the future should always be encouraged. One way to plan for the future and reduce the stress and anxiety associated with incapacity is by having in place an appointment of enduring guardian (“AEG”). Another way is to appoint an attorney under an enduring power of attorney document (“POA”).

An AEG is a risk management tool that allows a person or persons appointed by you to make health and lifestyle decisions for you but only if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions at some time in the future. Those decisions can include where you live, what health care you receive, consenting to medical and dental treatment and the types of personal services you receive.

A POA is a risk management tool that allows a person or persons appointed by you to make decisions for you about the financial and money side of life.

At Moin Morris Schaefer Greg Moin’s experience as a part time Senior Member (Legal) on the Guardianship Tribunal for 5 years can be invaluable to clients trying to plan for the future and discuss risk management tools such as an AEG and a POA, how to challenge them, reviewing them and ensuring that your future planning is as risk free and stress free as possible. And for family and friends faced with a loved one who has lost capacity but who does not have these risk management tools in place Greg’s expertise and advice can be very helpful to assist in finding a practical and workable solution to often complex problems.

Greg can be contacted on 6772 4899

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