Dementia is a devastating disease. A person may be fully cognizant and then over time, they start to forget things, from where they left their keys, to turning off the oven. According to the CDC, 5 million U.S. adults who are at least 65 or older have dementia.
Since anyone can get dementia, it’s important to have an estate plan in place before you hit age 65. However, if a loved one is already showing signs of dementia, here’s what to do.
Do Everything as Soon as Possible
If your loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia and there’s been no mention of estate planning yet, start as soon as possible. If they are not aware of what’s going on or the documents they are signing, those documents may not hold up in a court of law. You should encourage them to consult with an estate planning attorney and create a will/trust, beneficiary designations, durable power of attorney, and an advance directive/living will.
Figure Out a Care Plan
Your loved one needs to spell out exactly what they want in terms of their care. For instance, under no circumstances will they want to go to a nursing home. They may need to set aside money for live-in, 24-hour care if it gets to that point, and apply for Medicare if necessary. And if their physical health worsens, an advance directive needs to be in place so that caregivers know how to proceed.
Contacting an Estate Planning Attorney
If your loved one has early signs of dementia, then it’s time to start planning. Contact the estate planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group in Eastern Washington, Spokane Valley, and Spokane itself. Get in touch with us at (509) 315-8087.