Diagnosed with Dementia? What You Need to Do Now By Scott Selis on June 15, 2021

Diagnosed with Dementia?  What You Need to Do Now

As seen in the June 2021 Issue of Aging Times


If you or a loved one has Alzheimer's disease or any other form of dementia, it is important to start planning immediately. There are several essential documents that you must create before you stop thinking clearly.

Most folks who are in the early to mid-stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s think clearly enough to make planning decisions. If the person signing documents can understand the purpose of what is being signed, then it is acceptable for them to do so. Even if the person’s mental clarity comes and goes, they can sign planning documents, as long as they have clarity at the time of signing. 

The following are essential documents for someone diagnosed with dementia:

  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney. A durable financial power of attorney (“DFPOA”) is the most important estate planning document for someone with dementia. One’s DFPOA appoints someone of your choosing to make financial decisions on your behalf. Without a power of attorney, your family might be unable to pay your bills , among other things. 

  • Health Care Power of Attorney. A health care power of attorney, a/k/a, the health care proxy, allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you when you cannot do so. 

  • Living Will. A living will, a/k/a, an “advance directive,” describes your end-of-life preferences about removal or use of life support when you are on your death bed with no recovery possible.  

  • HIPAA Release. Finally, you should have a HIPAA release that lists all people that are allowed to discuss your health with your doctors, hospitals, etc.  

It is also important to create a Last Will & Testament and/or a Trust to: ensure that your loved ones receive your assets; protect your assets from long-term care; and avoid probate after you die.  

Click here to go to the June 2021 Issue of Aging Times

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Scott Selis

Selis Law Firm

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