When a loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, estate planning is a vital aspect of one’s future. Planning for the unexpected also ensures that if you do develop one of these medical conditions, you’re prepared. Once dementia reaches the point where you are unable to understand your assets, your family members, or even the documents you have set forth, it’s time for a power of attorney, health care power of attorney, or guardian to step up. At Gary I. Handin, PA, our Coral Springs FL attorney can help you create these important legal documents for your future.
Remember, without an estate plan, your assets will go to the state and follow the intestacy rules. This can be a lengthy and costly process for your family.
What Are Some Legal Documents You Need in Your Estate Plan with Dementia?
There are many legal documents that can be drafted to protect your assets in the future when you or a loved one have dementia, including:
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney designates someone to handle your financial decisions as well as your medical decisions if you are unable to do so. A medical power of attorney or health care proxy designates someone to make a medical decision for you when you can no longer make them for yourself. The person you choose to become your surrogate will make important healthcare decisions on your behalf. This may be temporary or maybe for a longer-term health crisis.
In the State of Florida, the power of attorney document must be signed by the individual and two witnesses and notarized.
A revocable living trust places all the assets into the trust, leaving nothing in the grantor’s name. This gives the spouse or a co-trustee the ability to manage all assets and to pay bills when necessary. If the healthy spouse falls ill or passes away, the co-trustee takes over managing this trust. This revocable trust must be drafted carefully for the best success.
Even if you have a Trust you will need will that sets forth your wishes for distribution of your assets upon your passing away. A personal representative is appointed by you to act on behalf of your estate and is charged to administer the estate as stated in the document. A will can explain who will become guardians of their children, how assets will be distributed, and other details regarding the estate.
In Florida, the personal representative must be a Florida resident and if not, they must be a blood relative. After someone dies, their heirs or personal representative must prove that their will is legal to start the probate process.
How Alzheimer’s or Dementia Affects Decision-Making
When you or someone you love has a progressive disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, you must make serious decisions about your future before your disease progresses further. The sooner you establish estate planning documents, the greater the chance you can express your wishes and making sure that your estate plan is exactly what you want.
Planning for long-term healthcare needs, overseeing your finances or property, and choosing someone to make important decisions for you are all important decisions that should be made immediately. Our experienced estate planning attorney team at Handin Law can help you draft these important documents for your future.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs
When you want to learn more about your estate planning options, call our Coral Springs law office. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you determine what legal documents you need to be prepared for your future. After a conversation discussing your needs and your goals for estate planning, we can give a professional legal opinion on which documents like a will that you would benefit from most. We serve all of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Looking for a Coral Springs estate planning attorney? Call Handin Law today at 954-796-9600 where we offer legal solutions for every stage of life.