When an elderly family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s related dementia, it is time to discuss the details of legacy, financial, and estate planning. While connecting a loved one with support services is the priority when their memory is beginning to fade from age, formation or modification of financial and estate planning to meet their needs during their last years is often a key family decision. No matter how well an elderly family member has planned for financial and estate distributions, review of those plans to accommodate the expense of residential treatment or other medically related support costs will ensure that an elder is taken care properly while alive; as well as cover memorial and funeral costs at time of death. A licensed attorney can assist with the formation of a combined financial, estate, and legacy plan to suit an elder’s needs.
Law of Diminished Capacity
Within U.S. federal law, the definition of “diminished capacity” applies to incapacitated parties no longer exhibiting full mental ability. If an elder lacks the ability to make routine decisions about complex matters, they may be suffering from memory loss or dementia related to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Patients diagnosed with dementia still have legal rights to their property and assets. Spouses of incapacitated parties are the primary decision makers under law. According to New York rules of intestate succession EPTL 4-1.1, If no living spouse or will exists, and another family member has not already been given power-of-attorney, rights to legacy, financial and estate planning on behalf of an incapacitated party may be assigned to court appointed trustee.
Planning for an Elder with Diminished Capacity
Elders diagnosed with debilitating cognitive issues are vulnerable to exploitation without proper care. Estate planners with experience working with trustees of elderly incapacitated parties acknowledge, that clients are less likely to fall victim to the risk of scams and other fraudulent theft of their accounts if comprehensive financial, estate, and legacy planning has already been done. Estate planning documents and a trustworthy trustee with power of attorney to make those critical decisions will protect the interests of an elder while they are still alive, and those of an estate’s heirs and beneficiaries after their death.
Ask an Attorney. . .
Estate planning families benefit greatly from comprehensive financial, estate, and legacy planning advice. Avoid the inevitable complications of an elder with Alzheimer’s financial, legal and tax issues by working with a licensed attorney experienced in estate planning. Professional estate advisors counsel families about how to make the right choice for an elder estate holder’s individual circumstance.
Ask an attorney about comprehensive financial, estate, and legacy planning.
Estate Law Attorney Practice
Ettinger Law Firm is a licensed New York attorney practice specializing in estate planning and probate litigation. Contact Ettinger Law Firm to schedule a consultation about comprehensive financial, estate and legacy planning.
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