Estate Planning Tips for People with Dementia
If you have been diagnosed with dementia and are still in the early stages of the disease, it is imperative to ensure you have a fully updated estate plan in place. People who have dementia eventually experience trouble with memory loss, cognitive function and language — and the decline can be rapid in some circumstances.
Below are a few steps you should take immediately to solidify your estate plan:
- Arrange durable power of attorney for finances: This allows you to place another person in charge of your financial assets if it becomes necessary. Your chosen agent has the authority to handle financial tasks such as paying bills, managing accounts or selling assets. This authority can kick in immediately or as soon as a doctor certifies you are unable to handle the responsibility on your own.
- Establish healthcare directives: These directives allow you to give directions to your care providers about your end-of-life treatment wishes. You may also name another person to carry out these wishes if you cannot do so yourself. This can provide some immense relief to your family members, who then have clear instructions from you and do not have to guess as to what you would want to occur.
- Create wills and trusts, if you haven’t already: You should, at the very least, have a simple will that leaves assets and property to your chosen beneficiaries. Make sure you have named a reliable estate administrator to carry out these wishes after your passing. Various types of trusts come with key benefits, such as bypassing probate and avoiding estate tax.
- Check your beneficiaries: Review any accounts that have beneficiary designations, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts, and make sure the beneficiary designations are up to date and reflect your current wishes.
For more information and tips on this important issue, speak with a skilled Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.