There are unique legal and healthcare concerns for anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The cost of living with Alzheimer’s can be significant. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the cost of care for an Alzheimer’s patient could be as much as $100,000 or more a year. What’s more, the disease leaves its victims unable to make their own healthcare decisions.
The needs of caring for a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming for many people. A Mount Laurel dementia and Alzheimer’s lawyer could help ease the financial and emotional cost of facing these conditions. To discuss your or a loved one’s future care, call (856) 857-6007 to schedule your initial consultation with Bratton Law Group right away.
The Importance of Planning
A person living with dementia or Alzheimer’s has a wide range of needs. These needs may be medical, legal, and financial. By ensuring you have the plans you need to protect your assets, you can ensure your quality of life in the later stages of these diseases. Planning for dementia and Alzheimer’s may involve a combination of planning for asset protection, estate planning, and budgeting for medical care. The ultimate goal is to ensure the care you deserve while retaining the ability to distribute your assets as you see fit.
The team at Bratton Law Group provides guidance and counsel on every aspect of planning for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Our attorneys and certified dementia practitioners can help ensure you receive the care you need while being treated with dignity.
After a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is essential to move quickly. Any delay could see the effects of these conditions worsen and potentially make it challenging for a lawyer to help protect your assets or future care.
To ensure your wishes are adhered to in the future, contact a Mount Laurel dementia and Alzheimer’s lawyer as soon as possible. Call us at (856) 857-6007 to learn more about how we can help.
For a legal consultation with a dementia and alzheimer's lawyer in Mount Laurel, call 856-857-6007
Tools to Plan for Dementia And Alzheimer’s
Many individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or their families may not know where to begin with estate planning decisions. An individual must be legally competent to make these decisions, or within a reasonable capacity to understand the consequences of their decisions. However, it is important to remember that these diseases do not take hold overnight. Many people with these diagnoses retain the capacity to make important estate planning decisions.
Still, time is of the essence when making estate planning decisions with an individual facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. A delay could result in a future challenge to overturn their wishes.
A person can only make changes to their estate plan if they have the “requisite testamentary capacity” to execute legal documents. In other words, they must be able to appreciate the consequences of the documents they sign. Our team can work to ensure documents are reviewed and signed during a period of lucidity.
There are four different legal documents that can serve as a tool for estate planning following a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. These include a power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, and last will and testament.
Power of Attorney
State law allows for what is known as a durable power of attorney. This document empowers one or two people known as agents to act on the individual’s behalf, making financial and other decisions for the individual as necessary. Specifically, this document gives the agent the power to handle non-medical matters for the person signing the power of attorney.
These documents can set up to be durable, meaning that they can take effect once they are signed and remain in effect after the signer no longer has the capacity to make these decisions on their own.
There is a limited window of time for a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to execute a power of attorney. Once they lack the capacity to make these decisions, the only option is to go through the courts in an effort to appoint a guardian for the incapacitated person. The guardianship process is long and complex, but it can be avoided by arranging a proper power of attorney.
Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy is similar to a durable power of attorney. Once a person executes these documents, another individual is appointed to serve as their agent once they are no longer competent. An agent is empowered to make decisions about medical care once the individual can no longer make decisions on their own. A person has the right to continue making their own medical care decisions until they no longer have the capacity to do so.
A living will is an important record for any estate plan. It is a document that outlines a person’s instructions once they are no longer able to make their own medical care decisions. The powers of a living will are broad. They could allow you to direct that you are given life-saving care or require that care is withheld under certain circumstances.
Last Will and Testament
Like with any estate plan, a last will plays an important role following a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It provides an opportunity to ensure that your finances and assets are distributed in the manner you prefer. Like with other testamentary documents, it is vital to execute this aspect of an estate plan while still having the capacity to do so.
Mount Laurel Dementia and Alzheimer's Lawyer 856-857-6007
How a Mount Laurel Dementia And Alzheimer’s Lawyer Can Help
A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s does not mean you have lost your ability to determine your own future. By acting fast, any person in the early stages of this condition could take the steps necessary to protect their future. This starts with a comprehensive estate plan.
To get started with your own estate plan, seek the guidance of a Mount Laurel dementia and Alzheimer’s lawyer right away. Call (856) 857-6007 to schedule your initial consultation with Bratton Law Group today.
Call 856-857-6007 or complete the Contact us form