It is estimated that one in eight Americans will suffer from some form of dementia after the age of 65; here are some tips that can help protect your assets or those of a loved one in case of incapacitation:
Assemble team of elder care experts – this can include an elder law and/or estate planning attorney, a financial planner, a CPA, etc. A team of trusted advisors is essential to help you plan for how your assets or those of a loved one will be managed and how decisions will be made about your care or their care in case of incapacity. Meet with advisors to review the status of tax planning and payment, investments, care of assets, status of regular bills and health matters.
Establish advance directives – these include a living will, durable powers of attorney, advance medical directives, etc. which provide for the seamless transfer of decision-making abilities for your care or your parent’s care. Be sure your parent has also executed a HIPAA release form so you can have access to their medical records and consult with caregivers.
Create a revocable living trust — this will enable a person of your choosing to manage your assets in the way you choose without any interference from a court.
Have a long-term plan – the time to create a long-term plan is before it is needed. Dementia progresses at different rates for different people. Those with dementia can live for many years, and the cost to maintain a good quality of life can be a heavy financial burden for a family. A long-term plan may include funding a long-term care insurance policy, or strategies for spending down assets to qualify for state or federal assistance programs.
With the proper guidance, you can protect your finances and spare your loved ones the frustration of having to make costly and difficult decisions. Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.