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Estate planning after an Alzheimer's diagnosis

There are certain steps people in Nevada and their loved ones may need to take after a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. According to the Alzheimer's Association, it is the country's most expensive disease. Making plans after an Alzheimer's diagnosis involves both financial and other types of preparation.

First, all estate planning documents should be gathered and reviewed. This includes wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and insurance paperwork. People should make sure any beneficiary designations are up to date. It may help to consult legal and financial professionals. Two documents that may be needed are a living will and a durable power of attorney. The former specifies what kind of medical decisions the person wants made. The latter appoints someone to make those decisions on the person's behalf in the event of incapacity.

People should look into care options. These could include home care, assisted living and nursing homes. This is also the time to find out what Medicare and Medicaid may be able to offer, and purchasing long term health care insurance policies might be advisable. Finally, caregivers may want to become involved in local support groups to learn more about the disease and find others who are in a similar situation.

When a person has been diagnosed with a condition that will eventually result in incapacity, it is important that the person's will and other estate planning documents are updated before there is a question about the person's mental competence. Otherwise, there could be legal challenges. The durable power of attorney is important because the process of getting appointed as a legal guardian can be time-consuming and expensive and could also become mired in conflict if family members disagree about who should take on this responsibility.

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