Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can make elderly individuals unable to handle their own finances or even make choices about their care. This will not happen to everyone, but it is important for people to create estate planning documents that ensure that they can be cared for and their money managed if they become incapacitated.
If a person has a family member that is mentally incapable of handling money and paying bills, it will be a struggle to be able to take over if powers of attorney have not been prepared. Just about the only option people have for managing assets that are solely in their family member’s name is to petition the court to appoint someone as the conservator of the person and their estate.
This can be a costly process, and it normally takes a period of time before conservatorship is approved. However, in some circumstances, a person can temporarily be appointed on an emergency basis. Once someone has been appointed as a conservator, each year, meticulous financial records will have to be kept and periodically submitted to the court.
There are a variety of estate planning documents that are available to people to help them manage their assets and medical care. Using powers of attorney, people can appoint trusted individuals to make choices for them if they cannot do so on their own. Trusts can be set up that allow someone to manage their assets during their life and pass their property on to heirs without having to make them go through the probate process. A lawyer could explain how these documents work and assist clients in determining which would best fit their needs.