If your parent had Alzheimer’s, you understand first hand the complications this can bring. You may have had challenges dealing with their personal and financial affairs. You will also know that Alzheimer’s is hereditary. If a parent had it, the chances that you will increase. Even if they did not, it is always wise to plan for the possibility of this or any other serious illness.
Alzheimer’s presents legal challenges
Alzheimer’s can make it impossible to manage your own legal and financial affairs. Taking steps now can make it simpler for your family to do so if needed. Here are some things to consider:
- Give someone durable power of attorney: A power of attorney lets your family access funds, pay bills and complete essential tasks if you cannot. If you do set it up in advance, they will have to seek permission through a court if you get ill. That could cause stressful delays.
- Create a health care directive: This allows you to spell out your wishes for the health care you do and do not wish to receive. Give someone health care power of attorney to make decisions for you if needed. Take time to discuss your preferences with them.
- Plan for medical expenses: You may wish to set money aside to cover health care costs.
- Protect assets: You do not want all that you own to be used to pay for your health care. Consider moving some assets out of your estate into a trust or using your gift allowance to transfer them to your children early. Otherwise, you may be ineligible for medical benefits until you have drained every last cent, leaving nothing for your family.
It is never too early to start thinking about the future. Hopefully, you will live a long life free from Alzheimer’s or other such illnesses. However, it is wise to prepare for all possibilities.