An estate planning attorney is someone that you entrust your estate to in the event of your death. They help you decide who will inherit certain assets and carry out wishes with your home or finances after you pass away. They can also assist you in caring for your assets when you are still living but unable to make decisions for yourself. If you have Alzheimer's, you may be worried about making certain decisions about your health, home, and other assets as your disease progresses. Here are things you should discuss with your estate planning attorney now while you are still cognitive enough to make future plans on your own.
Your future care
If you wish to be placed in a certain retirement home or receive at-home care when your disease progresses to a point where it is unsafe for you to care for yourself, you need to make these wishes known to your estate planning attorney. This helps alleviate the frustration and confusion your children or spouse may have when you are unable to make medical decisions of your own regarding your health or care. This is often done by establishing a living will stating clearly your desires.
Should you be unable to live in your home anymore due to your Alzheimer's getting worse, you will want to have your estate planning attorney know who will receive your home or be placed responsible for its care. As part of this discussion, your estate planning attorney will want to make sure all home taxes are paid or reduced so your home is free and clear for the recipient. You will want to discuss whether or not you approve the home being sold, and who or where the funds will go after selling. In most cases, the care or title of the home is placed with a child or close family member you can trust.
Don't forget your pets if you have any. You want to make sure your animals are properly re-homed or placed in the care of family members should you become unable to care for them. Have your estate planning attorney list the pets you have and who or where they are to go to in the event you are placed in assisted living or cannot care for them anymore. You will want to involve family members or friends in this discussion to make sure the recipients of your pets are comfortable with the situation and willing to take your animals in.
Your estate planning attorney (like those at Spillman and Partners) can help you prepare your estate for when you pass on as well as help take care of you in the near future. If you become incapacitated or unable to care for yourself, your living will can help protect you and your assets.