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Palm Springs Law Blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Estate Planning for a Loved One with Dementia

Dementia is a word used to explain a set of symptoms such as memory loss, a decline in problem-solving skills, and unclear thinking. It serves as the umbrella term to a number of diseases. One such disease that can be considered a type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to Alzheimer’s, common causes of dementia also include:

  • Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Mixed Dementia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Planning Ahead with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Though it can be quite difficult to picture your future (or the future of your spouse) with dementia, it is exceedingly important. This is because without planning ahead your estate, your treatment, and the security of your family may be placed at risk.

It is imperative that you create an estate plan sooner rather than later, since once an individual with dementia can no longer understand their assets, the purpose of their documents, or even the names of their family members, they are legally unable to make or modify an estate plan. This is why being proactive rather than reactive is key.

When one loses the ability to have the necessary capacity for signing legal documents, the only option for your family will be to petition the court for conservatorship. That’s why executing a General Durable Power of Attorney is so helpful. It provides another person of your choice with the legal authority to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf. You get the opportunity to decide what you want done – or not done – in certain situations, when you are legally unable to make such decisions at the time that they are needed.

Without an estate plan or a Will, when you pass your assets will be subject to intestacy rules. This is usually not preferable, as these rules don’t take your personal wishes into consideration.

Estate Planning for the Spouse of Someone with Dementia

When your spouse has dementia it is equally important to execute your own estate plan. There is always the possibility that you could become sick and unable to care for your spouse or could pass away unexpectedly. Having a plan in place can help to protect both of you.

Heritage Legal, PC Helps Those in California with Their Comprehensive Estate Planning Needs

To ensure that you and your loved ones are protected when you pass, it is wise to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California estate planning attorney. They can work to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the manner in which you desire.

At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand the importance of protecting the very things that you care about the most. We can help you to establish a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs and the needs of your family. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!


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