People often ask, "What do we need to know about planning for the future of our loved one to make sure that everything will be in place as their disease progresses?" Here is a list of things to consider.
- Create a durable power of attorney. This document gives authority for decision making in financial matters and/or health care.
- Make a living will. This document describes the end-of-life wishes of the person making the living will. It can describe things such as withholding life sustaining treatment. This form varies from state to state.
- Prepare this will. This document describes what is to be done with the persons property and possessions.
- Consult a medical professional to determine legal capacity.
- Determine whether the legal documents were executed before the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
- Create a list of close family members, lawyers, financial planners, and accountants for future reference.
- Inform others where all the legal documents are kept, and make sure they are accessible in case of an emergency.
Taking care of financial and legal issues can bring comfort to the person with dementia, family and friends, and allows everyone to focus on daily care issues and help add dignity to life.