Alzheimer’s and Estate Planning: What You Should Know

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that affects the brain, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. As Alzheimer’s progresses, it can become increasingly difficult for a person to make decisions about their care and finances. This can create challenges for the individual with Alzheimer’s. It may also cause problems for the family of a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is important to start planning for the future now. Estate planning is important for everyone, but it can be especially important for people with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Without a solid estate plan in place, a person with Alzheimer’s may not have the ability to make decisions about their finances or healthcare if they become unable to do so themselves. A good estate plan can help ensure that the person’s wishes are carried out even if they can no longer communicate them themselves.

It’s also important to make sure that the person’s loved ones are aware of their wishes and know how to access their estate plan in case of an emergency. For years, Wilmington and surrounding communities have turned to David Anderson and his team to help them create an estate plan specifically tailored to their needs.

What Aspects of Estate Planning Are Most Vital for an Individual With Alzheimer’s?

Some of the most important aspects of estate planning for someone with Alzheimer’s include:

1.) A Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document in which a person (the principal) appoints another person (the agent) to act on their behalf in legal matters. The agent is authorized to make decisions on the principal’s behalf, including decisions about finances, property, and healthcare. The power of attorney can be limited to specific tasks or it can be broad in scope. In North Carolina, powers of attorney are governed by Chapter 32C of the North Carolina General Statutes.

A power of attorney can help ensure that someone you trust has the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.

2.) A Living Will

A living will is a document that outlines a person’s wishes for medical treatment in the event that they are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. The document typically includes information about the person’s preferences for end-of-life care, such as whether they would like to be kept on life support or have medical measures taken to prolong their life. A living will is sometimes referred to as an advance directive.

Creating a living will help guide medical decisions if your loved one becomes unable to make them themselves.

3.) Naming a Guardian

Most times, a guardian is a person appointed by a court to manage the property and affairs of a minor or an incompetent adult. The guardian’s responsibilities typically include making decisions about the minor or an incompetent adult’s education, health care, and finances. 

However, in North Carolina, you can name a guardian in your estate planning documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out if you become incapacitated. If you do not name a guardian in your documents, the court will appoint someone to take care of your affairs. That someone may not be a person you would have picked if you did so yourself. Besides, the process of selection may be lengthy and may leave you with a period of time where you have no one to take care of you.

As such, appointing a guardian is necessary for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in case they need someone to take care of them if they can no longer live on their own.

Some Tips To Help You Plan for This Important Time of Your Life

Estate planning can help make sure that your loved ones are taken care of financially and emotionally no matter what. Here are some tips to help you plan for this critical time of your life:

a.) Consult with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible.

b.) Try to get a comprehensive list of all your assets.

c.) Discuss your wishes with your loved ones as early as possible to help avoid family conflict, and to help your loved ones understand your estate plan and carry out your wishes.

David Anderson And His Team Can Help

In conclusion, it is important for individuals with Alzheimer’s to have a solid estate plan in place. By doing so, they can ensure their loved ones are taken care of financially and emotionally in the event of their passing. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, contact us today to review your estate planning options.

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