Planning for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: Part 2

It is imperative that advance directives for financial and estate management are created while the person with Alzheimer’s has the legal capacity to make decisions. The following are some or all of the directives that should be created:

(Read more: Planning for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: Part 1)

A Will dictates how a person’s assets and estate will be distributed upon death. Furthermore, it often indicates:

  • Arrangement for care of minors
  • Gifts
  • Trusts to manage the estate
  • Funeral and/or burial arrangements

A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances names an individual to make financial decisions once the person with Alzheimer’s is no longer able to do so. This often eliminates the burden and necessity of court actions that may strip control of financial affairs from the person with the disease and/or their families.
A Living Trust provides instructions about the person’s estate and appoints a trustee to hold title to property and funds for the beneficiaries. Once the person is no longer able to manage his or her affairs, the trustee follows these instructions.

A trustee can also be named by the person with Alzheimer’s disease as the health care proxy through durable power of attorney for health care.

(Read more: Alzheimer’s Planning Legal Advice)

A living trust may:

  • Include a wide range of property
  • Provide a detailed plan for property disposition
  • Avoid the expense and delay of probate (in which the courts establish the validity of a will)
  • State how property should be distributed when the last beneficiary dies and whether the trust should continue to benefit others.

Health Care Providers cannot act as legal or financial advisors, but they can help coordinate and encourage planning discussion between patients and their families.

Elder Law Attorneys (ELAs) helps older people and families:

  • Interpret State laws
  • Plan how their wishes will be carried out
  • Understand their financial options
  • Learn how to preserve financial assets while caring for a loved one

(Read more:

  • Discuss complex issues and unpleasant topics
  • Address emotional concerns
  • Establish short- and long-term plans
  • Evaluate in-home care needs
  • Select care personnel
  • Coordinate medical services
  • Evaluate potential living arrangements
  • Alleviate stress for caregiver
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