Estate Planning and Alzheimer’s

Following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, you and your loved one will end up facing a number of serious challenges. 


For one, there are a number of difficult emotions including fear and uncertainty about what the future holds. Second, there are a number of complex issues involving estate planning. 


As a result, this article reviews some important estate planning tips that you should remember following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis of a loved one.


Areas where an Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help

One of the most important issues with estate planning after any type of dementia diagnosis is making sure that you have all of the appropriate estate planning documents in place. 


There are two types of estate planning documents that commonly play an important role after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis: durable powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney. 


Durable powers of attorney allow an appointed individual to make financial decisions for the person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The second most common type of estate planning documents are healthcare power of attorney, which list what life-saving measures a person should receive if they are determined to be terminally ill. The terms of these documents do not become effective until an individual is unable to make decisions on their own. 


Normally, it is a wise idea to select a person who has an understanding of the healthcare process with healthcare power of attorney. For a financial power of attorney, however, it is a wise idea to appoint the same individual who will be executor of your estate. 


It is also a wise idea to establish a backup for each appointed individual. This way an estate plan can be prepared for any emergency that might occur. 


 The Guardianship Process


If you fail to have the proper estate planning documents in place, you might be required to navigate the guardianship process. While this process can be advantageous if you do not create an adequate estate plan, the associated costs can be expensive. 


This potential complication highlights the importance of adequate estate planning prior to a diagnosis. While there are a number of reasons why people wait to create estate plans, the increase in costs is just one of the many complications that a person can end up facing. 


Other Important Estate Planning Issues to Address


It is a wise idea to estate plan as early as possible. 


The period following a diagnosis is often a period of time that families utilize to transfer assets out of the name of the diagnosed individual and to a trusted loved one. Many families discover that transferring assets in this manner avoids worrying about the Medicaid spend down process later. 


Another estate planning subject that many families consider is establishing a special needs trust so finances cannot be accessed by the government or Medicaid


Contact a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer


One of the best ways to avoid a number of complex estate planning issues after a divorce is to speak with an experienced attorney. 

Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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