Sunday, December 28, 2008

Legal Issues for Family Members with Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is a horrendous disease with someone developing Alzheimer's every 71 seconds. Watching a loved one's condition continue to deteriorate to the point of not recognizing family members or their life is truly depressing. However, there are certain legal steps to consider when a family member is involved.
  • Guardianship and conservatorship If decisions need to be made for an incapacitated individual, whether medical care or financial matters, it may be necessary to have a guardian/conservator appointed by a court.
  • Trust - If a self-settled trust has already been established by the incapacitated individual, it may be necessary to examine having the successor trustee step in to handle trust management matters.
  • Power of Attorney - If the individual has already signed a power of attorney (health and financial), steps should be taken to determine whether the disability provisions are applicable and granting authority.
  • Beneficiary Designation review - Information should be reviewed to determine if the proper beneficiaries are named on applicable accounts and whether any changes need to be made.
Working with an elder law attorney or an experienced estate planning attorney will help guide a family through a difficult time.

No comments: