Estate planning is essential for everyone, but it can be even more important for those who are affected by serious illnesses, such as dementia. These individuals often have additional fears, such as whether they will be a burden on their loved ones, who will make medical decisions when they can’t and whether they will become victimized by fraud. This makes it even more essential to properly plan for what will happen to their assets once they reach a certain point in the progression of their disease.
As soon as you are diagnosed with a condition like dementia, it’s important to get the estate planning process done immediately while you still have the capacity to do so. One of the considerations taken when executing your will or trust is whether you were of a sound mental capacity when it was drafted. While dementia isn’t often cause enough to invalidate a will, you may need to prove you were of sound mind when you created the will, which can be done through expert testimony, video evidence and more.
Set Up a Power of Attorney
It can be difficult to relinquish control of your assets, but as dementia progresses, you will need someone you trust to make important financial decisions for you. Naming a trusted family member your power of attorney will allow you to remain in control while you can, while giving them the access they need to protect your assets and make sure your bills are paid when you are unable to do so yourself. You can even name a medical power of attorney, giving someone the right to make major medical decisions when you are mentally incapable of doing so.
Preparing Finances for Long-Term Care
Long-term care facilities that accept patients suffering from dementia can be expensive. However, in order for Medicare to pay for it, patients need to prove they don’t have the assets to do so. The government requires individuals to spend their own assets prior to qualifying for this coverage under Medicare. Therefore, you will need to make plans to minimize your finances before you reach this point. Medicare will look back over a certain period of time to determine how much you should pay on your own, which makes it important to handle this aspect immediately upon diagnosis.
Everyone Needs One
Even if you are relatively healthy, no one knows what the future holds. In fact, as many as 70 percent of seniors will need long-term care at some point in the future. Therefore, it’s essential for everyone to go through the estate planning process. The earlier this is done, the easier it will be for your loved ones to handle whatever may come your way.