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What are the estate planning options for people with dementia?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Estate Planning

All New York residents should create an estate plan. However, things can get murky when a person has a medical condition like dementia. Estate planning should be done as soon as possible after a diagnosis while the individual still has some of their mental faculties. This is what should be included.

Last will and testament

All estate plans should include a last will and testament that lays out how your loved one wants their assets and property distributed. Beneficiaries to inherit those things must be included, and it’s crucial to explain how final wishes should be handled. A person with dementia might decide they want a funeral and burial while others might prefer cremation with a simple memorial service.

Powers of attorney

Dementia causes a person to have trouble clearly thinking and reasoning. Over time, they’re no longer able to take care of their financial and health care planning, which makes it crucial to have powers of attorney focusing on both areas. The individual can name an agent to handle these matters once they’re incapacitated.

Do not resuscitate order

If your loved one with dementia has always stressed the desire to not be resuscitated if they’re ever in a vegetative state, they need a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. This legal document states that the person doesn’t want life-saving efforts such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should they experience cardiac arrest.

Beneficiary designations

Beneficiary designations allow loved ones to be named to inherit the proceeds from a person’s retirement, IRA or 401(k) accounts and life insurance policies. Naming primary and contingent beneficiaries is the best way to ensure that someone eventually inherits the funds from these accounts.

Early estate planning can help you better prepare in the event that your health takes a downturn. These legal documents can make things easier with dementia.