Planning Your Estate After Being Diagnosed with Dementia
When you receive a dementia diagnosis, getting your estate plan in order may the last thing on your mind. However, it’s something you need to take care of while you still have the capacity to do so.
Dementia leads to the deterioration of cognitive function. As the baby boomer generation reaches old age, the number of people diagnosed with dementia will continue to rise. In fact, we’ve been seeing this happen already — dementia is starting to become a more common diagnosis among people in their 50s.
With this in mind, it is important you complete your estate plan before you ever have to worry about losing your mental capacity. Taking this action now ensures you will be able to take full control over your assets and develop a valid, challenge-proof estate plan.
Specific steps to take
First, you will want to outline your wishes when it comes to medical care. Therefore, you should make sure you have a current designation of health care surrogate and a living will. You can use these tools to describe in detail the type of medical care you would or would not like to receive, and who will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to on your own.
You should also consider where you would like to live and/or receive treatment, how you will pay for the medical care you will need and whom you trust to make financial decisions for you — in addition to your medical decisions.
No one wants to get the bad news of a dementia diagnosis. But if you act quickly, you can at least have some peace of mind in knowing all your affairs are in order and you will be able to pass on your assets and property according to your wishes.
For further guidance on setting up a sound will, trust and other key documents, consult a skilled Florida estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.