When a loved one learns that he or she has a progressive condition like Alzheimer’s disease, it can seem as if life has been turned on its head. You and other family members may worry about what this will mean for your family, and depending on the stage of the disease, you may need to make many changes quickly.
If your loved one’s doctor caught signs of dementia early, it is likely that your family member maintains a significant portion of his or her cognitive abilities. As a result, you may want to consider discussing the idea of your loved one creating an estate plan before the disease progresses too much.
Why bring up estate planning?
You may think that bringing up estate planning soon after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s may send the wrong message to your loved one. You may fear that he or she will think that you have the wrong intentions for bringing up the topic or that you believe he or she will pass away in the near future. However, having an estate plan in place can save a lot of confusion and turmoil during the times when the disease becomes worse.
How can estate planning help?
In addition to getting one’s end-of-life affairs in order, an estate plan can also detail how a person wants his or her care handled in the event that significant cognitive decline or other health issues occur. While your loved one is still in a sound state of mind, he or she can have a say in how those details should be handled.
Utilizing an advanced health directive can allow your loved one to indicate what his or her wishes for care are in the event that certain health-related situations arise, especially if one may prove terminal. Additionally, a power of attorney document can allow your loved one to appoint a trusted person to act on his or her behalf when it comes to making important decisions after the cognitive decline has become too much.
Is planning complicated?
How complicated estate planning can be depends on each person’s specific circumstances. Of course, your loved one has the option of working with a Nevada attorney experienced in this area of law who could explain the various planning tools available and how each could help detail your loved one’s wishes well before the time comes to implement them.