Finding out you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia is overwhelming. But creating a legal plan for your future can be empowering and can ensure your wishes are met. The earlier you get your legal documents in order, the better prepared you and your family will be. Then you can focus on your health and enjoying your life.
The first step in your planning process is to review any existing legal documents you have in place and make any necessary updates. If you have not executed any type of estate plan before, below is a list of some of the documents you might need. You will want to put together your estate plan while you are still capable of making these important decisions about your future.
- Power of Attorney – to name the person who will take care of your financial decisions when you are no longer able to.
- Medical Power of Attorney – to name the person who will take care of health decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to.
- Advanced Directive/Living Will – to express your wishes for what medical treatment you want, or do not want, near the end of life, such as life-prolonging treatments.
- Adult Guardianship – to name the person who will take care of you and your property when you are no longer able to. You can also designate if there is someone you do NOT wish to be your guardian.
- Last Will and Testament – to provide instructions on how your property will be distributed upon your death.
Understandably, some people fear that when they execute these documents, they are immediately turning over their rights to others and they are simply not ready to take that ultimate step. However, any legal documents that you execute now, can be written so that they do not become effective until you have been found to be “incapacitated” by a physician. Importantly, legal capacity is most-often guided by the input of your physicians. It is important that you take care of these things as soon as possible to ensure your wishes are met.
If you need legal assistance, please contact our office at (972) 382-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. With an office in Celina’s historic downtown square, we serve communities throughout the region, including Collin County, Denton County, Grayson County, Cooke County, Tarrant County, and Dallas County.