Idaho Elder Law - Helping Loved Ones Suffering from Alzheimer's

Old Couple WalkingIt’s important to plan for the future. This is especially true for families who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. If planning is done early, the person with the disease may be able to participate more in the decision making. Planning early can also reduce future stress for the family of the person with the disease. When someone has Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, legal plans and financial plans are important to put in place.

The Lincoln (NE) Journal Starrecently contained an article about caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. “Planning the future of a loved one with dementia” discussed some helpful information in both financial and legal planning.

You will encounter a number of costs in caring for a person with dementia. Planning for these expenses and costs throughout the course of the disease will involve examining all the costs you could possibly face now and in the future. These can include prescription drugs, personal care supplies, adult day care services, in-home care services, and residential care services.

Discuss financial needs and goals as early as possible. This way the person with the disease will be able to comprehend the issues, take a role in mapping out his or her objectives, and clarify their wishes. An experienced elder law attorney will have worked with financial advisors and will be able to point out potential financial resources, uncover tax deductions, and counsel against imprudent investment decisions. You may have these financial resources available to help you with the costs during the course of the disease:

  • Health care coverage
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans benefits
  • Other public programs:

In addition, many states have state-funded, long-term care available, such as adult day care and respite care.

Legal capacity is the ability to understand the meaning and importance of a legal document, such as a power of attorney. A person suffering from dementia who has the ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of his or her actions to execute a document needs to be the decision-maker. As long as he or she possesses legal capacity, they should take part in legal planning. The article recommends these documents:

  • Living will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Directive or Power of Attorney
  • Will
  • Living Trust
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship

Fundamentally, it's important to understand that Alzheimer's is not the same as other diseases. Dealing with dementia requires a lot of attention from all involved. Through it all, competent counsel will be necessary to properly assess the needs and possibilities, as well as to ensure that everything is in place when needed most. At Idaho Estate Planning we have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your loved ones now and into the future. We have a network of resources throughout the Treasure Valley ready to help us meet your needs. Remember, good planning is no accident!

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