Every year, people in the United States spend millions of dollars to treat and care for Alzheimer's Disease. As people continue to live longer and longer than ever before, even more money is projected to be spent in the future. This means that everyone should make plans as if they will get the disease.
Alzheimer's is a scary disease for most people. It strikes at 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, too.
If you or your loved ones have not yet planned for the possibility of Alzheimer's, then visit an experienced estate planning attorney without delay and get everything in order.
Reference: UT San Diego (October 23, 2014) "Legal, financial planning for Alzheimer's patients"