If you suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, undergoing estate planning can be an empowering act. Furthermore, you ensure your final wishes are met. The faster you establish your legal plans with a knowledgeable attorney, the better prepared you are. You may then focus on enjoying life to the fullest. As an attorney, handling estate planning for a client with Alzheimer’s disease requires finesse and care.
Estate Planning Basics
Estate planning can often feel overwhelming. Some elements may not even apply to your current situation. Take some time to review the basics of estate planning before moving forward. Once you meet with an attorney, you will have a better understanding and a clear path moving forward.
Legal planning involves:
- Taking inventory of existing documents, reviewing and making necessary updates
- Making legal plans for your finances and property
- Putting all plans in place for enacting future healthcare and long-term care
- Naming another individual to make decisions on your behalf
For a client suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, advanced directives are key. Patients often live for years with diminished mental capacity, which makes estate planning crucial. Some documents Alzheimer’s patients should consider include:
- Statutory Durable Power of Attorney – Designates the holder of the power (“agent”) to act on the principal’s behalf for financial matters. A durable power of attorney is typically the right choice for Alzheimer’s patients. It may come into effect when the individual is unable to handle everything.
- Medical Power of Attorney – Designates an individual to make healthcare decisions when you are unable to do so.
- Living Will – A living will specifies the amount and duration of care an individual wants to receive at the end of their life.
- Declaration of Guardian for Oneself – Designates the guardian of the person and/or estate for herself/himself in case the person later becomes incapacitated to the extent that a court supervised guardianship is required.