Next week marks the beginning of World Alzheimer’s Month and Dementia Awareness Month. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia in Australia is expected to increase to 536,164 by 2025 and to 1,100,890 by 2056.
World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September. Here at Genders and Partners, we will be honouring our clients and their caregivers who are battling Alzheimer’s and Dementia by posting on social media in order to spread awareness and start conversations about how to make life easier for those battling through these devastating diseases.
Please do yourself and your loved ones a favour by learning how to get your legal and financial affairs in order before a medical problem or degenerative illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia can occur. If you don’t plan ahead, you may find that it’s simply too late to protect your family, safeguard your assets, maintain control, and access the care you want in the midst of a medical crisis.
Below we offer some tips on how to plan early to protect everyone you love and everything you own, if something happens. Spreading awareness for World Alzheimer’s Month can be as simple as forwarding this information to your loved ones who may need help getting their affairs in order! Share this information and help empower the people who matter to you most.
Important Legal and Financial Strategies for Dementia Patients and Their Families
Specialist estate planning lawyers work with families to prepare for any number of situations in the estate planning process. One circumstance that is especially relevant to elder care law is dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are conditions which generally appear late in life, although the prevalence of ‘early-onset’ variations of these diseases is growing, and the progress of these diseases can be a lot faster than people expect.
Along with the emotional turmoil on the patient and family members, dementia also takes quite a financial toll. Alzheimer’s and related illnesses are typically degenerative, progressing slowly over time, while requiring considerable medical and personal care. Elder care lawyers have experience helping clients create plans that provide for both the medical and the quality-of-life aspects of these expenses.
Of course, early planning is critical. If it is suspected that you or a family member is developing Alzheimer’s disease or any other ailment that impairs thinking, estate planning and other provisions should be arranged with an elder care lawyer as soon as possible. A dementia patient’s mental capacity will decline, and in order for predefined wishes to be followed, his or her current capacity cannot be in question. Getting started as soon as an issue is suspected is one of the best ways to ensure having the greatest say in the future.
Because of the progression of the disease, some of the most important decisions to be made are medical ones. For example, an Advance Care Directive needs to be drawn up to designate a trustworthy person to make medical decisions for the patient when he or she is no longer able to do so. If this person is not chosen in advance, it is likely a government tribunal will need to appoint one at a later date. Again, taking care of this issue with an elder care lawyer now means that you have more control over what happens later.
Asset protection is another major concern for dementia patients. The physical progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can take many years, while the mental progression may be much faster. This means the individual may require specialised care (including monitoring, nursing, and other personal needs) for a very long time, therefore depleting existing finances.
Learning how to protect and maximise the value of assets now can greatly impact the quality of care one can afford down the road. There is also concern regarding estate planning, as the costs associated with dementia can easily wipe out any potential inheritance unless the proper plans have been put into place.
When it comes to planning ahead, it makes good sense to seek a qualified estate planning lawyer who can help navigate the ins and outs of the system as it relates the special needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
If you are ready to get started, simply contact us to schedule a free no-obligation telephone consultation to discuss the creation of a modern integrated estate plan for future contingencies and protect all parties.
SPECIAL REPORT “7 Things You Must Know Before You Make Your Will”
In this report you will Learn:
Why home-made Wills can be a LOT more expensive than you might think.
The secret weapons used by the rich & powerful to protect their assets, and transfer their wealth two or three generations ahead.
How Estate and Trustee Companies make BIG money from “free” Wills.
The Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes, how they can cost your family a fortune, and How to Avoid Them.
The Elements of a Sound Estate Plan – why a Will alone is not enough.
How to Make Sure Your Assets Stay in Your Family and are not lost to creditors, lawsuits or ex-spouses.
How to guard against challenges to your Estate after you’re gone.