Estate lawyers can help you plan for the future when a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Learn how estate law for the elderly can protect a loved one’s estate when they can’t take care of themselves.
There is never a good time for someone you love to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, but an early diagnosis can give you time to meet with estate lawyers who can help you prepare for your loved one’s future. With the law for the elderly frequently changing, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you prepare the appropriate paperwork to protect the patient’s property.
What Paperwork Should Estate Lawyers Prepare?
No two family situations are the same, just as no two estates are the same. If the disease has been diagnosed in its early stages, your loved one should go with you to meet with a specialist of law for the elderly who can outline the various forms of documents for you and explain which ones your family should put in place. Some of the most common legal documents drafted to protect individuals with a mental disability or advancing illness include a living trust, advance directive, will, and power of attorney. Reputable estate lawyers will explain the purpose of each document and whether it is appropriate for your family’s situation.
Who Should Be Involved?
It’s always painful for families to begin making plans for the future of a parent who won’t be able to make sound decisions for himself or herself, but it’s crucial to begin discussions as soon as possible after someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so that everyone is on the same page as the individual’s illness progresses. If your loved one is still in the early stages of mental decline, he will be able to express his wishes in terms of who he wants making decisions for him when his mental awareness and ability to make decisions for himself is gone. If at all possible, be sure to include any children or siblings directly related to your loved one so that everyone understands the wishes of the family member with Alzheimer’s. This can help you avoid a dispute and from having to hire an attorney of litigation in the future. Unfortunately, probate litigation can drag on for months if a sibling or child disputes an estate after the individual has lost his or her ability to make decisions.
Easing The Discussion With Estate Lawyers
It’s always difficult to discuss your parents’ future with elder law attorneys when they’ve recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but there are ways to make the situation less difficult:
Reassure your parents that your first concern is their welfare. Explain that your desire is to fulfill their wishes regarding their future.
Explain how they are protected by elder law for the elderly and how attorneys can interpret and apply those laws for their benefit.
Remind them that estate lawyers can come up with questions and solutions that the family may not have considered.
What Attorneys Can Do For Early Stage Alzheimer’s Patients
If your loved ones can still express their wishes regarding who should handle their money, manage their home or make medical or lifestyle decisions for them, estate lawyers can draw up paperwork that will protect their desires. State law for the elderly is always evolving and changing, so consulting with an attorney ensures that any documents drawn up will meet state standards and be enforceable when the time comes that your loved one can no longer make his or her own decisions. Estate lawyers can also bring up potential problems that may not have occurred to you or your family so that you’re less likely to need an attorney of litigation down the road.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is always distressing, but if you are proactive, you can help your parents prepare for the future so that they are fully protected by law for the elderly even when they can no longer take care of themselves.