Our previous two posts have shared examples of the complications our families can face if we fail to create a will, fund our trusts, or appropriately update our estate plan.
An additional consideration is the importance of estate planning when dementia is diagnosed.
Casey Kasem, Marlon Brando, Peter Falk and Glen Campbell are just a few notable examples of ugly court battles involving someone with dementia.
To minimize future conflict, a diagnosis of dementia should also equate to an immediate review of a person’s estate planning documents to ensure that they are in order and that the person’s intentions are clearly stated. If a person has yet to execute estate planning documents, it is imperative to meet with an elder law attorney and get them done.
This is also an appropriate time to discuss with loved ones about how they will handle care giving needs when the person deteriorates.
Doing proper planning before a person becomes incompetent to execute legal documents or communicate wishes is crucial. Waiting greatly increases the chances that someone in the family may contest the documents or disagree with the care decisions that are being made. The stress of dementia is difficult enough for families without the added burden of fighting over care, money and other matters.