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How do you plan your estate during the onset of Alzheimer’s?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Elder Law, Estate Planning

Alzheimer’s disease can cast a shadow not just on the patient’s health but also on their families. In Florida, where hundreds of thousands enjoy their golden years, navigating estate planning with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming. Here are some things to consider, ensuring your wishes are met even as the disease progresses.

Time is of the essence

Florida law requires a “sound mind” to create a valid will. While an Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t automatically disqualify someone from writing a will, the window of opportunity to make legal decisions can quickly close. A medical evaluation can help determine your current capacity to understand your estate’s value and choose your beneficiaries.

Laying out essential documents

A last will outlines how your assets will be distributed when you pass. However, probate court can be a lengthy process. Consider a revocable living trust, which avoids probate and allows a designated trustee to manage assets upon the time of your incapacity.

Providing the power of attorney

This crucial document appoints someone you trust to make financial and legal decisions when you can no longer do so. Choose someone responsible and familiar with your personal needs. You must sign the document in the presence of two witnesses.

Assign who makes health-related calls

While professionals recommend home care for Alzheimer’s to maintain some semblance of normalcy, there is no shame in considering residence specializing in memory care. A healthcare surrogate makes medical decisions when you are unable to.  Discuss your treatment and end-of-life care preferences with them while you can still participate in the conversation.

Planning long-term care costs

Alzheimer’s often necessitates long-term care, which can be expensive. In 2024, the average monthly cost for long-term memory care in Florida is about $9,000. Estate planning can involve strategies to minimize the impact on your assets. This may potentially qualify you for Medicaid benefits to help cover those costs.

Seeking professional guidance

Estate planning with Alzheimer’s requires specialized knowledge. An experienced elder law professional may guide you through the legal complexities, ensuring your plan reflects your wishes and safeguards your assets. Acting early and seeking professional guidance may create peace of mind and a secure future for your loved ones.