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What Should I Know About Estate Planning and Dementia?

It’s scary to think about diseases like dementia, but it’s important to know what would happen to you and your estate if you were no longer able to care for yourself or make decisions. That’s why you should meet with a Des Moines power of attorney lawyer and make plans now. If anything happens, you and your family will be glad that you planned ahead.

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Who Will Be In Charge of Financial Decisions If I Have Dementia?

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when crafting an estate plan is choosing who will get your financial durable power of attorney. This is the person who will make decisions about your finances if you were ever incapacitated by dementia or any other disease. This should be someone who is responsible and ready to take on this obligation.

You have two options when choosing who should have the financial power of attorney. You can appoint someone right away or you can allow them to act only once you are declared incapacitated. The latter option is often called a “springing power of attorney.” The problem with this is that it can take a little while to be declared mentally incapacitated and sometimes financial matters need to be addressed right away.

What Health Care Directives Should I Have If I’m Worried About Dementia?

You also need to make plans for who makes decisions about your healthcare if you are no longer capable of making those decisions on your own. A healthcare power of attorney would give someone access to your medical records and the right to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated due to dementia.

The person who gets your healthcare power of attorney doesn’t have to fly blind though. You should also create a living will that can outline your desires for end-of-life care. You can talk about what kinds of treatments you would want and how far you would want medical professionals to go in order to save your life. As an example, you can address whether you would want to be reliant on equipment like ventilators and feeding tubes.

What Other Documents Do I Need?

You should also consider making some other plans when you are picking who should have power of attorney and creating a living will. You can create a will that would make it clear who your beneficiaries are and which assets they should get. This also gives you the chance to pick an executor, someone who will handle your estate after you have passed away.

You should also check the beneficiaries on your accounts, like retirement or investment accounts, to make sure that they go to the right beneficiaries. You can also explore other estate planning options, like trusts.

Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers

If you have any more questions about how you can plan for any potential health issues and protect your estate, contact Herting Law, PLLC. We can help you prepare any documents that you need and take full advantage of any estate planning tools that could benefit you and your family. Schedule your consultation today.

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