What will you do if you develop Alzheimer's? This unfortunate disease gets to the core of who we think we are. People with the disease often forget their friends and family members.
Anyone who has ever known someone with Alzheimer's knows how frustrating this disease can be for the patients and their loved ones. A recent article in UT San Diego, titled "Legal, financial planning for Alzheimer's patients," details some steps people can take to be prepared should they or their loved ones ever get the disease.
The key thing to know is that you need to prepare ahead of time.
People with dementia normally lack the capacity to sign legal documents. That means you cannot make plans after you get Alzheimer's. If you wait, then a court might be required to make plans for you.
The basic documents you need to prepare in advance (i.e., right now) include a general durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. These two documents allow someone of your own choosing to handle your financial and health care matters when you are no longer able to do so.
While you are at it, make sure you have an up-to-date estate plan (i.e., a last will and testament, or revocable living trust), to provide for the efficient transfer of your assets upon your death. Your beneficiary designations should be reviewed. If you have a Revocable Trust you should also consider adding an Incapacity Panel.
Fundamentally, it's important to understand that Alzheimer's is not the same as other diseases. Dealing with dementia requires a lot of attention from all involved. Through it all, competent counsel will be necessary to properly assess the needs and possibilities, as well as to ensure that everything is in place when needed most. At Idaho Estate Planning we have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your loved ones now and into the future. We have a network of resources throughout the Treasure Valley ready to help us meet your needs. Remember, good planning is no accident!