What should I know about estate planning and dementia?

person sitting in a wheel chair outside

When you or a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, it can be incredibly challenging to process. However, there are many things you’ll need to consider to plan for the future. One of the most important things you’ll need to do if you have not done so already is plan your estate. If you are in this position, the most important thing you’ll need to do is connect with Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys to explore your legal options. Keep reading to learn what you should consider and why working with an attorney is in your best interest.

Is estate planning important for those with dementia?

Dementia is a phrase used to describe a decline in cognitive function, including memory loss and impaired judgment. As such, when someone receives a dementia diagnosis, the importance of creating an estate plan as quickly as possible is critical. This can help ensure that your wishes are met before the cognitive decline you or your loved one will endure.

Generally, one of the most important documents you’ll need to make is a will. This allows you to explicitly dictate how you want your assets handled upon passing. You can leave assets to specific beneficiaries, including your family, friends, and charities.

Next, you’ll want to create a power of attorney for your finances and healthcare. Essentially, this allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on behalf of your finances and healthcare treatment. When you experience a cognitive decline, you may be unable to understand or communicate your wishes. As such, you’ll find that talking to another person and explaining your wishes to them can help ensure that your medical and financial wishes are adhered to. You can then create a legally binding document that will allow this person to speak on your behalf.

How can an attorney help me through this process?

Receiving a dementia diagnosis can be incredibly complex. Unfortunately, you may find that the overwhelming emotions that accompany this diagnosis can leave you unsure how to proceed. As such, working with an attorney can help you receive the reassurance that your estate and beneficiaries will be cared for according to your wishes. Unfortunately, you’ll find that if you wait too long to plan your estate, the courts may deem your estate plan invalid.

As such, you should begin planning as soon as possible. Though you have many other considerations on your mind, this is an incredibly important matter. At Friedman Schuman, we understand how complex these matters can be. That’s why our dedicated team will do everything possible to help you during this challenging time. Connect with our firm today to learn how we can help you navigate estate planning.

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