Does Your Loved One have Early Dementia? They need an estate plan

If your loved one was recently diagnosed with dementia or a similar illness, you’ve probably been overwhelmed with advice from doctors, family members, and friends, and you may not know what next steps you should take. One thing that you may not have considered is getting a proper estate plan in place during dementia’s early stages.

Unfortunately, dementia can take quite an emotional and financial toll on the entire family. Alzheimer’s and related illnesses are slow progressing, but typically get worse over time, requiring considerable patient care. That being said, dementia is an Estate Planning situation that requires special protections for the loved one and for the loved one’s family.

Early planning is crucial. If you suspect that a family member is developing Alzheimer’s disease or any sickness that effects thinking, you need to act immediately. A patient with dementia will decline in their mental capacity over time, and they have to define their wishes before they lose the ability to make and understand decisions.

Also, because of the progression of the disease, making medical decisions in advance when possible is important. You should decide who will make medical decisions when your loved one can no longer do so. It cannot be stressed enough that planning sooner, rather than later, will mean you have more control over what happens in the future.

For dementia patients, protecting assets is another major concern. While the physical progression of dementia can take many years, the mental progression can happen much faster. If you can maximize the value of your loved one’s assets now, you can afford better quality care longer down the road. Costs associated with dementia can wipe out an estate and any inheritance without proper planning in place.
With elder care, it helps to seek a qualified Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney who can help you understand the system as it relates to the special needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. I have experience helping clients create plans that cover both medical and quality-of-life expenses for both themselves and for their loved ones dealing with dementia. To receive our free guide on Planning For Declining Health click here or call our Plano office at (214) 292-4225.

Written by Miller Law Office

Miller Law Office

The Miller Law Office is here to help you build and protect your legacy. Rather than having a traditional estate planning practice, which is focused on transactions (such as the drawing up of wills and other documents), we have a more relational focus – having on-going contact with clients over the long-term, helping clients to protect themselves and their families.