In a recent blog, we talked about how to plan for incapacity when putting together an estate plan. Another issue that can impact your estate planning is a memory-related disease.
As the name suggests, this is a health issue that directly impacts your memory and can make it hard to make the important decisions required in estate planning. Some of the most common diseases that affect memory are dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and amnesia, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Now that you know that these types of health issues can impact your estate plans, you might be curious about how they can affect them. In this blog, we will provide an overview of everything you need to know, straight from our estate planning attorneys, so that you are aware of what steps to take next.
From an Estate Planning Attorney: How a Memory-Related Disease Can Affect Your Estate Planning
If you are thinking about estate planning, and you have a family history of a memory-related disease, getting ahead of your estate plan is crucial. This can help prevent mishaps and issues down the line.
Here are some ways that memory-related diseases can impact your estate planning, according to an estate planning attorney:
Signing Legally Binding Documents
Dementia affects your mental state, causing you to forget important details, have issues with communication, or experience issues problem-solving. It can also make it hard to plan, which poses a problem when it comes to compiling your estate.
This condition, like other memory-related diseases, can make it a challenge to do tasks that require a lot of brainpower, such as estate documentation.
Alzheimer’s disease can be behind progressive dementia in elderly people, but it’s not the only cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease, like dementia, often comes with memory loss, which can happen over time. The condition can also affect the way you think and how you make decisions.
It is for these reasons that it is recommended to work with an estate planning lawyer on your estate before signing any legally binding documents if you are at risk for a memory-related disease.
Once the estate is filed, you have the right to change it. However, if your memory is not there, you may risk something happening to your estate that you would not have asked for. This could mean giving your assets to the wrong person or filling out the forms incorrectly–to name a few.
Making Decisions With Legal and Financial Ramifications
Once you have signed on the estate’s dotted line, it is set in stone–unless and if you change it. Memory loss can affect the information in your estate and cause you significant legal and financial issues.
For instance, you might have had plans to gift a certain amount of money to your grandchildren once they come of age. However, taxes could stunt your plans and cause them to have to pay a significant portion of the income received.
That is why working with an estate planning attorney is essential. Not only will you get a walk-through of every part of the estate, but you will also have someone who will take you by the hand through every part of the documentation to ensure it is complete, accurate, and reflects your wishes.
Do your estate planning well in advance.
Per the World Health Organization (WHO), over 55 million individuals have dementia, and 10 million new cases emerge each year. It is considered “the seventh leading cause of death among all diseases and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.”
Over 5.8 million people in the U.S. alone have Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to get to 14 million by 2060, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Contrary to what most people think, elderly people are not the only ones who can develop Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is, as you might expect, more common for them to get it than younger individuals, and the symptoms are known to emerge once a person passes age 60. The risk also goes up as you get older.
These facts go to show that it is essential to start your estate plan early on if you have a risk for a memory-related disease, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Getting your estate planning done in advance can ensure that your wishes will be followed, and your estate will be allocated to the right beneficiaries.
It will also give you peace of mind that your finances are handled, and there will be no question about what you would have wanted medically since you are currently in a sound mind to answer that question.
How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
Estate planning attorneys can work alongside you to create a variety of legal documents in support of your estate. This includes the following:
- Advance directive
- Durable power of attorney
- Will and living trust
When you hire a qualified lawyer to help with your estate, you can feel confident that you will receive only the best legal guidance and straightforward answers, and that everything will be done as you would have wanted.
One thing that makes us unique at Clearwater Law Group is that we believe that every case and estate begins with a personal story. We take time to create lasting relationships with our clients, and we believe in helping you develop an estate that fits all your wants and needs and is fair to all beneficiaries.
While you might be unclear about what you want at the moment, we can work with you to create an estate that checks all the boxes on your list and help make things clearer.
If a family member has a memory-related disease, you know how difficult it can be to manage. You also likely recognize the importance of making plans ahead of time when it comes to your general finances and estate.
An estate planning attorney is the first person to call if you need assistance in the estate planning process. A professional, such as ourselves, can make the steps easy to follow and ensure all Ts are crossed, and all Is are dotted to protect everything you have worked so hard for in your life.
Let us handle your estate. We are on your side.
Looking for a trusted “estate planning attorney near me” in the Tri-Cities? Clearwater Law Group is among the best and brightest in the Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick area. Connect with our office today to schedule a free consultation.