In San Diego and elsewhere, more and more Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other diseases that cause them to become unable to take care of themselves. It is estimated that 1 in 7 Americans over the age of 70 suffer from some sort of dementia.
We are all living longer and as the elderly population grows in the United States, the incidence of dementia and Alzheimers will be increasing. By the year 2050, it is estimated that between 11 and 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease. Planning for the future needs of such people becomes increasingly important.
When your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers, family members need to plan for the future. If the disease is still in its early stages, the individual may still have the mental capacity to execute documents such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances and an Advance Health Care Directive. If the individual already has a will or trust, these may need to be amended. In addition, long term strategies may have to be considered for such things as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home placement.
The time to consider these issues is before disease robs the individual of the ability to make these important decisions. Once the individual is incapable of making decisions for himself or herself, family members will have to seek court assistance to set up a conservatorship. It is much less expensive to plan ahead and avoid the time and expense of a conservatorship.
At Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation we can assist family members in planning for the future to avoid a conservatorship of their loved one. If a conservatorship is necessary however, our experienced estate planning attorneys can assist with that as well. Please feel free to e mail us.
There are a number of resources available to families with loved ones suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center are two websites with information and links.