Are Your Legal Documents In Order? How can anyone know the true devastation of Alzheimer’s unless you have had a loved one affected by the disease? In Massachusetts, there are 120,000 people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, they expect that number to grow 17% by the year 2025. The need to plan while you are well and able becomesmore significant as we age.
The financial and emotional implications of becoming disabled before dying can have a profound effect on one’s family. It’s hard enough to see a loved one decline but wondering if you can afford to get them the care they need may be even more stressful. Estate planning attorneys can help you protect your assets and plan for what you hope won’t happen. In the United States, someone develops the disease every 69 seconds. None of us can be certain it won’t happen to us.
John and Karen had been married for over 40 years when John started to notice some changes in his wife’s behavior. They were subtle at first and they chalked them up to “senior moments”. She would get confused while cooking. She began to have trouble with simple math. (Karen had been an expert at calculating the discount at Macy’s in her head!) But, when she started wearing heavy clothes in the warm weather and accused the cleaning lady of taking things, he knew it was something more. And so the next chapter of their lives began.
Fortunately, they had planned ahead. They had their Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and Irrevocable Trust prepared by an Elder Law attorney years before. They had peace of mind that their legal documents were in order. John also knew, if and when he could no longer care for Karen, that their assets were protected from the nursing home.
An Elder Law attorney has the expertise to counsel seniors and their families on how best to plan ahead, with a primary emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for individuals. For more information on Alzheimer’s visit http://www.alz.org/