More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and is expected to be 13 million by 2050. Estate planning can be a complex process on its own, but when you have a family member recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or showing signs of diminished mental acuity, this process can be even more overwhelming. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and in 2020, COVID-19 contributed to a 17% increase in those deaths.
These are scary statistics; even scarier is that almost 1 in 9 ages 65 and older has it. If your loved one hasn’t planned ahead, this could present a variety of problems when it comes to making decisions on medical treatment, long-term care, and affairs of their estate. Our firm is here to help your family navigate this legal process so you can rest assured your family assets are protected and your loved one is taken care of.
The first piece of advice I give clients is that they keep communication open with family, especially regarding their wishes. When the time comes for someone to speak on your behalf, having a loved one who knows exactly what you want ensures you are in good hands. These conversations are not typically easy to have, but there are many ways to start a conversation regarding end-of-life decisions. Ice breakers, games and talking tools have been developed to help your family come together to discuss these very serious matters. Find the tool that works for you and make your wishes known. Allow questions, and encourage discussions because the clearer you are, the better your family can care for you when the need arises.
Alzheimer’s & dementia present a unique complication when estate planning. Alzheimer’s takes your ability to think clearly away, which impacts your ability to make decisions and construct legal protections. Every & Stack are experienced Probate & Estate planning attorneys, familiar with Florida probate law and its requirements. We work with you in creating an estate plan that works with you and your family. Schedule a free consultation today with our office at 386-255-1925. Our firm can help at every stage of Alzheimer’s, however, the sooner you contact us the better.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia
Alzheimer’s is degenerative, and as the condition progresses the ability to make decisions becomes increasingly difficult. Eventually someone else may step in to direct medical treatments and financial decisions. A Power of Attorney designates someone to oversee these things on your behalf. If there is no Power of Attorney in place, the Family (or caregivers) would have to petition a court for conservatorship.
Both Power of Attorney and Conservatorship grant full authority over an individual’s finances, physical autonomy, health, and other significant decisions. The difference is that a conservatorship is granted by a court and can only be rescinded by a court. Power of Attorney is granted by you and can be rescinded at any time by you. Florida has two options to grant Power of Attorney, Property & Financial and Healthcare, which are generally combined in cases where the individual has lost mental capacity. It is possible to grant either one or both, but also designate more than one person as your Power of Attorney who will share the responsibility over your decisions.
What if you have a Power of Attorney in place, but your representative is the one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? A loved may not always qualify to be your healthcare surrogate. We recommend having an alternative surrogate and updating who you designate as needed.
Govern Your Medical Directives & Estate
As we approach the end of our life, it is crucial to have a solid plan in place to see that our needs are met, and desires are carried out. Have important conversations with your family and protect your estate by setting up an estate plan today. Do not risk putting this off until it is too late, especially if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia.
Call Every & Stack today to see how we can help you and your family with:
- Advance Directive
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney
- Financial POA
- Medical POA
- Retirement Accounts & Life Insurance Policies
- Last Will and Testament
Schedule a Consultation with our Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys
Every & Stack has dedicated over 40 years to helping clients and their families. We provide comprehensive knowledge and experience, giving you peace of mind that everything will be taken care of and that your wishes are well documented. Schedule a consultation today with our office at 386-255-1925. Let us help you develop a plan that works for you and your family.