Your Future Made Secure Today

December 13, 2017

Do you or a loved one have dementia? It may come as no surprise to you that approximately 5 million Americans currently have dementia.  Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and can have profound effects. One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Dementia is memory loss which typically worsens over time. Dealing with the challenges of memory loss and cognitive decline is hard enough but an effective estate plan can reduce stress now and in the future.

The best time to start planning is right away. The longer you wait the more difficult the process becomes because legal capacity is required to create or sign legal documents. According to Florida Law “Incapacitated person” means a person who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity to manage at least some of his property or to meet at least some of the essential health and safety requirements of the person. If a person has recently been diagnosed with a form of dementia; it does not necessarily mean that the person lacks legal capacity. With the help of a physician and an attorney you can determine the level of mental capacity required to sign legal documents.

Several types of documents can facilitate a person’s future healthcare and management of assets. Two of the most common documents are a Health Care Surrogate and a Durable Power of Attorney. A Health Care Surrogate allows you to plan ahead for difficult medical decisions.  It allows you to name someone (the “agent”) that will make health care decisions for you in case you are unable to make them yourself. Additionally, with a properly executed Power of Attorney, the agent will be able to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf.

Proactive Medicaid Planning can also be a very useful tool for seniors who may be faced with the need for nursing home care.  Nursing homes are expensive and can eat up accumulated assets quickly.  We employ legal and ethical methods that will transfer your assets so that you may qualify for Medicaid later in life.

*If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with dementia, is beyond the point of legal capacity and has not engaged in legal planning, then you should contact OC Estate and Elder Law to help you get organized.