Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with dementia? If so, you may be concerned that you have let too much time go by and that it may be too late to engage in estate planning. Rest assured that this is likely not the case. Even if you have dementia, you may still be able to ensure that you have a great estate plan in place. Let us discuss four reasons why it is not too late to plan when you have dementia.
1. Better Late Than Never. When it comes to estate planning, as long as you have the capacity to think and understand what you are doing, you can still be an active participant in the process. If you have been diagnosed with dementia in its early stages, you likely still have time to get the ball rolling. Ask your spouse, adult child, or a trusted relative or friend to help you make an appointment with a qualified estate planning attorney.
2. Make Plans for Good Days. It is likely that you will have good days and bad days when it comes to your ability to remember things and process complex information. Try not to let the fact that you have been diagnosed with dementia stop you. Instead, make the most of your good days to go through the estate planning process.
3. A Good Attorney Can Help. An estate planning attorney familiar with the process for aging clients and those suffering from memory loss should have a thorough understanding regarding the concept of “capacity,” which means your ability to make decisions on your own behalf. If you are in the very early stages of a dementia diagnosis, it is likely that you have adequate capacity to make decisions regarding your will, powers of attorney, and other issues. Your attorney should assist you with moving through the process quickly to make the most of the time you have available while you have capacity. Your attorney should also explain what happens if your capacity becomes more limited and help you execute powers of attorney and a healthcare proxy for when that day comes.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, our office is here to help you in establishing a strong estate plan that is tailored to your unique needs and goals for the future. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.