Today, as many as 5.4 million American men and women are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, a progressive type of dementia that breaks down an individual’s mental cognition, including memory, thinking and behavior. Due to the fact Alzheimer’s symptoms gradually worsen over time, it is important that dementia patients express their wishes regarding their care while they are able to make decisions for themselves. Elder care and estate planning may be crucial in ensuring that those wishes are met and followed as the disease progresses and will designate loved ones to make decisions when the time comes that the individual no longer can.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, properly executed elder care and estate plans for those living with Alzheimer’s will include an expanded durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, a living will, a last will and testament and possibly a trust.
The power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual (the principal) to grant power to another individual (agent) to make financial and other important decisions when the principal is no longer able to do so. A health care proxy may be able to determine which doctors and other health providers can provide treatment to the individual, the types of treatments, care facilities, end-of-life care decisions (i.e. feeding tubes), and a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. A durable power of attorney may be granted to make decisions for finances, income, assets and investments.
At Tully Law, P.C. we understand that Alzheimer’s disease can be physically and emotionally demanding on both individuals and their loved ones. The New York elder care and estate planning lawyers at our firm will assist you in developing a comprehensive estate plan that protects your rights and assets, including the development of important legal documents, such as Comprehensive Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, Living Will, the Last Will & Testament, Trusts, Asset Protection, and Medicaid applications to cover costs of long-term care. For more information, call (631) 424-2800.