Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating illness. Those that are diagnosed with this disease will face a lot of different issues. Along with treatment and the financial stress that tend to come with this disease, there are also a lot of legal issues that must be dealt with.
The importance of estate planning for the Alzheimer’s patient cannot be stressed enough. It is essential that estate-planning documents be dealt with as soon as a person has been diagnosed, but even better if these issues have already been dealt with. If these issues are not taken care of early, your loved one will not be in a state of mind to sign estate-planning documents and they would be considered void.
Some of the estate planning documents that your loved one will need include a Durable Power of Attorney so that their appointed representative can handle their legal and financial affairs once they are no longer able to do this for themselves. Another important document is the Health Care Proxy; this document allows someone to make medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated.
Additional documents that your loved one will need include the Living Will; with this document they can leave instructions for their end of life treatment. Of course it is also important to have a will and possibly a Living Trust with a successor trustee that can manage that trust when your loved one no longer can.
If there is a possibility that your loved one will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or if they have recently been diagnosed, you will want to contact an estate planning attorney as soon as possible. Although your family will be dealing with a lot of different issues during this time, and estate planning may not be at the top of your list, it is extremely important that you take care of this now.
A qualified estate-planning attorney can ensure that all the legal loose ends are tied up so that you can concentrate on making sure that your loved one receives the care that they need.