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What You Need to Know About Estate Planning for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

What You Need to Know About Estate Planning for a Loved One with Alzheimer'sIf you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, you understandably have concerns with how the progression of the disease will affect them goring forward and what types of treatment and care they will need. Additionally, if they have not yet created an estate plan, they might not have the powers of attorney required to successfully manage their care in the way they would wish.

Luckily, you have many options available to help ensure your loved one with Alzheimer’s is protected and provided for during their battle with the disease.

Estate Planning Options for Those with Alzheimer’s

As a long-term and progressive disease, Alzheimer’s will require a lot of money and resources to treat and manage throughout the remainder of your loved one’s life. Many people are financially unprepared for the ordeal, and they also have no legal documents in place to specify wishes and instructions for health care, life-sustaining treatment, or what will happen to their assets upon their passing.

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, your loved one should consult with legal and financial professionals as soon as possible. Although your loved one can make important decisions now, they will lose that ability as the disease progresses, and they will have to be of sound mind and deemed competent to make decisions in order create important documents to protect them in the future.

Therefore, your loved one needs to meet with an estate attorney to draft the following. You should also make sure they are filed with the court, or appropriate party, and that they are readily accessible to you and other pertinent parties when needed:

  • A will that details their wishes and instructions regarding their assets and beneficiaries as well as their end-of-life details
  • A living will to specify their wishes and instructions regarding lifesaving or life-sustaining treatment
  • A durable power of attorney for financial decisions
  • A medical power of attorney for health care decisions
  • An advance health care directive, such as a do not resuscitate order

Even if your loved one already has a will or other estate documents, those documents may need updating after the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Your loved one will need to have an attorney review them and make changes as needed.

Financial Documents and Protections

What You Need to Know About Estate Planning for a Loved One with Alzheimer'sTreating and managing Alzheimer’s is expensive, and the costs will only increase as the disease progresses. You will need to sit with your loved one and carefully review their finances to determine their ability to cover the costs they may incur. Your estate planning attorney can help you with this, and they may partner with financial advisers who can help you and your loved one create a plan to provide funds for their care and treatment.

Along with ensuring your loved one will have funds available to pay for care and treatment, you will also need to protect those funds when your loved one has progressed to the point that they can no longer make financial decisions on their own.

For that reason, you need to ensure you have the following documents in place:

  • A durable power of attorney – This will grant an agent your loved one designates to make financial decisions on their behalf when they become incapacitated or incompetent.
  • A living trust – More versatile than a will, a living trust can be used while your loved one is still alive, and it does not have to go through probate. It can cover a wide range of assets, and the funds can be used to pay bills and other costs associated with your loved one’s treatment and care.

Special Needs Trusts

These trusts, also sometimes called “Supplemental Needs Trusts,” are allowed through a federal statute. People who are disabled can receive benefit from the trust assets and income. These trusts are only useful in particular circumstances. To determine whether your loved one is eligible for a trust of this type and whether they would benefit from one, they’ll require the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney.

Contact Us

There might be other options available, and the experienced Dallas estate planning attorneys of Staubus and Randall will explain all of the options and help your loved one create a solid estate plan that will provide for and protect your loved one and their family going forward.

However, your loved one needs to create their estate documents while they still can make important decisions, so you should contact us as soon as possible at 214-691-3411 to request a confidential consultation.

 

The Firm

The attorneys at Staubus and Randall have over 100 years of combined experience in estate planning, probate, and litigation. We have the knowledge and skills to tackle complex legal issues, such as guardianships, will contests, fiduciary litigation, and trust litigation. We can also handle routine matters, such as estate administration, probating wills, heirship determinations, and other probate court matters.

Staubus and Randall received a preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible from a peer-rated legal service. This rating recognizes our hard work, dedication, and the case results we’re able to achieve.

Staubus & Randall Team

What Our Clients Say

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Jody

"Before retaining the guidance of the Staubus & Randall firm, I was at my wit's end trying to close an uncle's estate as a co-executor. In addition to dealing with difficult heirs, I had other pressing business issues coming up immediately on estate land in the middle of the Eagleford Shale including dealings with pipeline, seismic, oil & gas, and construction companies. The local bank also refused to give me access to information relating to the estate. This quickly became the most stressful and desperate time in my life...and then I found Joseph Legere who truly became my guardian angel. He was able to get all issues resolved efficiently and the estate fully closed. His professionalism, immense legal knowledge on a wide variety of topics, and amazing communication skills took the burdens off of me and quickly got closure. I am forever indebted to this firm for giving me my life back."

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Joann

"Keith Staubus and Julie Blankenship and their team represented me in a jury trial in the probate court where the ownership of the business which I had worked hard to build was at stake. They successfully fought to preserve my business and my professional reputation, working masterfully to gain the support of the jury. I would not hesitate to hire them again in any bet-the-company litigation.”

Karen

"I have required legal representation twice in my life in two separate will contests. Both times I sought assistance from Keith Staubus and Staubus/Randall. Their service, approach, and determination to obtain results exceeded the other attorneys in each case. Mr. Staubus has always come across as genuine while being direct. He gets the process done in a timely manner with results. I will certainly use him again when and if any new challenges arise.”

David

"After my husband's death, I was devastated by having to defend against a vicious dispute over my husband's estate. Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus made me feel very comfortable in this distressing situation. They were very tough and did an excellent job for me in obtaining a summary judgment in my favor without a full jury trial. I was glad to have them and Diane Walker in my corner to help me achieve an excellent result - I won! If I ever had to go back to probate court, I would hire them again.” - (will and trust construction case)

Flo

"If you need intervention for someone you love but don't know where to turn or who to turn to, Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus helped me through the most difficult and stressful time in my life with a much loved family member. I now believe that good will triumph over evil. They fought for what was right, and good prevailed." (contested guardianship and will contest)

Janet

"As a professional money manager, I have used Ryan Randall's estate planning services both personally and for my clients. Ryan has exhibited three critical attributes in his work with me: (1) high intellectual capacity, (2) exceptional thoroughness, and (3) a total commitment to integrity. In today's litigious world, it can be quite costly not to "get things done right.” An added bonus to us was that we found one of the nicest people we could imagine.”

John

"I was represented by Keith Staubus as an income beneficiary in a lawsuit with the trustee of a family trust. Utilizing the expertise of a forensic accountant and his own trust expertise, Keith was able to negotiate a judicial modification of the trust providing for the buyout of my income interest for a substantial lump sum payment out of the trust, resulting in a win-win situation for all of the parties. I highly recommend Staubus/Randall for any trust disputes and trust modification actions."

Kathy

"I have been a wealth management specialist and retirement plan consultant with the Dallas/Fort Worth financial community for over 20 years. I have engaged Ryan Randall to work with a number of my best clients over the years, including business owners, professionals and families. My clients always appreciate Ryan’s straightforward approach to estate planning, asset protection planning and business succession planning. He makes even the most sophisticated estate planning strategies understandable."

Larry

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