Estate Planning Considerations After a Dementia Diagnosis
It can be tough to come to terms with a dementia diagnosis. People who suffer from dementia could see significant decreased cognitive ability and memory.
In the wake of a dementia diagnosis, you should take immediate action to develop or update estate planning documents. These documents are only legally valid if the person signing them is legally competent at the time, so it is important to make them before the disease progresses.
Here are a few of the most important documents one should have:
- Health care surrogate designation: In the event you are unable to make medical decisions, you can appoint a healthcare surrogate to act on your behalf.
- Living will: This document allows you to provide specific instructions to your healthcare surrogate and health care providers about the kinds of end-of-life care you do or do not wish to receive. This can take the weight off family members and your healthcare surrogate to make these decisions on your behalf, as they’ll have a clear playbook to follow.
- Durable power of attorney: This document gives your nominated attorney-in-fact the authority to control your financial assets in the event you become unable to manage them yourself. This document, however, does not require your incapacity to become effective. Without this document, your loved ones may run into issues as to handling necessary financial tasks for you, including paying bills, selling assets and managing accounts.
- Will: You should have, at the very least, a simple will that leaves assets to your chosen beneficiaries and nominates a personal representative to execute your estate.
- Trusts: Living trusts allow you to leave your assets to your chosen beneficiaries outside of probate, as opposed to a will.
For more information about estate planning, contact an experienced Tampa, Florida estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.