When a loved one gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it’s a devastating time. You don’t know how long you have, or if the illness can be effectively managed. More than that, there’s limited time to make vital decisions about their health and future needs. As difficult as it is to face this news, the time to act is immediately.
You need to take the important steps required to ensure your loved one’s wishes will be followed and their needs be met whether medical, financial or emotional. It’s a hard conversation to have, but if you take it step-by-step, you can get through. Learn the things you need to consider for medical and estate planning for people with Alzheimer’s, and when to seek help from a professional.
Update All Information
The first thing to do is make sure that all information is updated. Gather together all of their financial and medical records, as well as any estate planning documents they might have. Go over all of it to be sure that it’s current and updated, and make any adjustments that need to be made.
Set Up a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is essential to estate and medical planning for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Someone will need to be there who can make critical decisions for them when the time comes. There are two different types of power of attorney. Financial power of attorney names someone who has access to their money and estate, who can pay bills and make critical decisions on money matters.
Healthcare power of attorney, on the other hand, is someone who can make medical decisions should the senior become unable to do so themselves. Far more than a living will, a power of attorney gives someone access to medical records and the authority to make the final call in any situation.
Beware of Scams and Frauds
Have a plan in place to stop people who are trying to take advantage of your loved one. It’s sad, but scams and fraud are common among the elderly, and as their cognition decreases, they will become more vulnerable to victimization by unscrupulous people. Make sure there’s some sort of plan in place to protect their financial assets against such criminals.
Complete their Estate Planning
Estate planning is more important than ever when someone gets diagnosed with an illness like Alzheimer’s. Setting up a will and trusts can protect their assets and make sure that their final wishes are followed. Having a living will and advance medical directives allows the senior to make it clear what their medical wishes are in specific circumstances.
All of these together can form a near-ironclad plan that will protect their legacy, ensure they get the care they need, and see to it that their final wishes are observed. Your best bet when undertaking a full estate plan is to work with a qualified estate planning lawyer like those at Stano Law. We’ve been helping the people of Cuyahoga County for many years, and we’re ready to help you as well. Give us a call for a consultation today.