Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s

Help Your Parents and Grandparents Update Their Estate Planning Documents

Help Parents with Estate Planning

May and June are months filled with family get-togethers of all kinds: weddings, graduations, picnics, barbecues, and family reunions. These get-togethers often remind us about how important our family members are to us. While a family party is probably not the best place to talk with your parents and grandparents about their estate plans, follow up with those older loved ones at a later time about getting their affairs in order.

Talking about these can be uncomfortable, but express to family members that it is vital that they take time now to help minimize difficulties later. It also does not need to be a large, detail-filled conversation either – just inquire whether they have made a will or whether they have thought about making a will or other estate plans. Print out this article and let them read it.

Here are a few simple things to help anyone decide whether they need to complete or update their estate plans:

  • It doesn’t take long to review life insurance policies to make sure that contact information is correct for the policy holder while also ensuring that beneficiaries are up to date.
  • If your loved ones already have wills, be sure that they review them. They will need to be updated if a spouse, child or sibling has died. They may also need to be updated if the Older Americans have downsized to new residences, closed or sold businesses, or bought or sold vacation homes, boats, or recreational vehicles.
  • Remember that property includes not only real property (land, house, condominium, business storefront, etc.), but also personal property such as jewelry, art, sports memorabilia, even pets.
  • It is also a good time to address living wills, which are a legal document by which a person makes known his or her wishes regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical procedures, such as resuscitation. This is especially important if a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a life-threatening disease that can impair their cognitive abilities in the future.
  • Establishing power of attorney, a legal document by which Person A gives Person B the power to make decisions about their legal and/or financial affairs upon Person A’s incapacitation, is also very important. If one of your parents or grandparents has power of attorney for the other and he or she has died or been diagnosed with a disease like Alzheimer’s, then the document needs to be updated.

These are some simple things that you can do each spring to make sure that your family is protected. Everyone, no matter their net worth, should have estate planning in place. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.

If your parents, grandparents or you need help reviewing or establishing any of the documents above, please telephone me at (732) 444-6406 or write me an email and tell me you’d like to meet about doing estate planning. I will send you my free Estate Planning Workbook, which is a tool to help you think about all of the different concerns there are with estate planning.

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The Law Office of Nancy L. Holm, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, is a full-service, general practice law firm located in Monmouth County, N.J., and serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You can trust our integrity and commitment to your best interests when you have a legal problem. We offer a free consultation and reasonable rates, so that legal representation is available to everyone.

 

 

 

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Filed under Estate Administration and Litigation, Estate Planning, General Practice Law Firm, Law Office of Nancy L Holm, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Special Needs Children / Adults, Trusts, Uncategorized, Wills

Estate Planning Critical for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Sufferers

Estate Planning for the ElderlyThe statistics for Alzheimer’s disease are staggering with an estimated 5.2 million Americans having the disease in 2014, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

Unfortunately, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia conditions will escalate rapidly as the baby boom generation ages.

These sobering statistics require that we are prepared in terms of estate planning in the event a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association says that dementia is a general term for the loss of memory, decision-making and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

If a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, you need to help them make legal plans. It is recommended that you begin as soon as possible, so that the person with dementia will be able to participate.

Before a person with dementia signs a legal document, it should be determined that they understand the document and the consequences of signing it. A medical professional may be able to assist in determining the level of a person’s mental ability.

It is also important to review all legal documents signed by the person before they were diagnosed with dementia. This includes living wills, trusts and powers of attorney. It is important that these documents are reviewed with another individual for corrections and updates.

Among the items that you should discuss with your lawyer include:

Plans for health care and long-term care, including living wills

A living will is a legal document, by which a person makes known his or her wishes regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical procedures, such as resuscitation. A living will can also be called an advance directive, health care directive, advance medical directive, or physician’s directive.

Plans for finances and property, including wills and trusts

A will is a written legal declaration by which a person makes known how their property will be disposed of upon their death. Property includes not only real property (land, house, condominium, business storefront, etc.), but also personal property such as jewelry, art, sports memorabilia, even pets.

Trusts come in all forms and can be straightforward or extremely complex. Simple stated, trusts are a financial arrangement that allows a third party (the trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. How and when the assets pass to the beneficiary can be controlled by establishing a trust.

Designation of another individual who will make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia, including power of attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document by which Person A gives Person B the power to make decisions about their legal and/or financial affairs upon Person A’s incapacitation. Powers of Attorney expire upon your death.

My goal is to make estate planning as easy and painless as possible. I even provide you with a guide to get you started on the estate planning pathway. Call me at (732) 444-6406 or write me an email to schedule a meeting. I offer flexible appointment times and my fees are reasonable. For most people who don’t require a lot of special planning, one flat fee covers everything.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that your family will be cared for when the inevitable happens.

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The Law Office of Nancy L. Holm, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, is a full-service, general practice law firm located in Monmouth County, N.J., and serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You can trust our integrity and commitment to your best interests when you have a legal problem. We offer a free consultation and reasonable rates, so that legal representation is available to everyone.

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Filed under Estate Planning, Special Needs Children / Adults