If you are the caregiver for a loved one with dementia, it is important to start thinking about their financial and legal planning. Dementia can cause a person to lose the ability to make sound decisions, which can put them at risk for exploitation. This can be very difficult for them, and also for you as their caregiver. There are steps you can take to help protect your loved one and ensure that their finances and legal affairs are taken care of.
How do you plan for your financial future if you have dementia or are caring for someone with dementia?
If you or someone you know has dementia, planning for the future is very important. This person will need to make decisions about where they will live, how their finances and legal matters are handled, whether or not they want a living trust created for them, what type of healthcare treatment options would be best suited for them in their current state of cognitive decline, etc. There are many different ways to ensure these needs are met.
One of the most important things to remember is that it is never too early to start planning for someone with dementia. The earlier you begin, the easier it will be to make decisions that reflect the person’s wishes and values. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, there are some specific steps you can take to help ensure their wishes are carried out. These include:
¬ Talking to your loved one’s doctor about long term care options like home health aides or assisted living. Determine whether these are things that would work for them, as well as what the costs associated with each option may be. You will also want to ask if there is a need for any equipment (such as oxygen tanks, etc).
What legal documents do you need to have in place if you have dementia or are caring for someone with dementia?
Gathering legal documents for those with dementia is imperative. Durable Powers of Attorney for both Financial and Healthcare decisions, Living Wills, and HIPAA releases are just a few examples. If you don’t have these documents in place, the person you’ve designated to make your healthcare decisions may not be able to do so.
It is also important to designate someone as Power of Attorney for Finances. This will enable the most qualified person to handle your financial and legal matters. Without a designated Power of Attorney, accessing accounts can become difficult or impossible. This may result in bills being left unpaid, health insurance lapsing, and much more.
If you are the caregiver for a loved one with dementia, it is important to start thinking about their financial and legal planning. Dementia can cause a person to lose the ability to make sound decisions, which can put them at risk for exploitation.
How do you find the right lawyer to help with estate planning if you have dementia or are caring for someone with dementia?
Finding the right lawyer will also help you create or update an advance healthcare directive and a power of attorney for your finances. While these documents are not required, they can be invaluable resources for those with dementia and their caregivers. For example, if the person with dementia begins to wander, having an identification card that states who is authorized to make decisions on their behalf is invaluable.
How do you find a dementia-friendly attorney?
The Alzheimer’s Association has created an online database to help families with dementia to locate Alzheimer-friendly professionals in their community. You can also ask for recommendations from your geriatrician, an elder law attorney or a care manager. Many local Alzheimer’s chapters host support groups that may provide another source of recommendations from caregivers and family members who have been in similar situations with loved ones who have dementia.
People with dementia may need help managing their finances and legal affairs. There are a few key things to remember when planning for someone with dementia, and it is important to start thinking about these things early, while the person with dementia is still able to make decisions.
Financial and legal planners can help families manage these tasks. If you or someone you know needs help managing finances or legal affairs, please reach out for assistance. Financial and Legal Planners exist to ease this process and keep your loved ones safe!