The 5 Estate Planning Documents to Get in Order at the First Sign of Dementia

A declining memory, reduced coherence and reasoning, and an inability to focus. These are just some of the many signs that a loved one has dementia. You want what’s best for our loved one in their time of need, but you also want to respect their autonomy over themselves. That’s why at the first signs of dementia, you should also consider consulting with a lawyer about arranging these 5 essential documents with or for your loved one:

  1. Medical Power of Attorney – This power allows a designated person to make medical decisions for your loved one, including doctors, treatments, medications, etc.
  2. Advanced Directives for Health Care – This allows your loved one to specify how they want their medical treatments to go until the end of their life.
  3. A Will – You want to make sure that this is the most updated it can be. A living will encapsulates the wishes of the physically or mentally incapacitated person as far as how they want to be treated. It may also contain how they want their assets distributed and their wishes with end of life decisions.
  4. A Trust – If your loved one has significant assets and investments, a trust will ensure that that person’s assets will avoid probate when it comes time to distribute them.
  5. A Durable Power of Attorney – A “durable” power of attorney ensures that the person they choose will still be able to make decisions on their behalf even after they’ve become incapacitated. This is in contrast to a regular power of attorney, where the power to make decision for the person ceases once they become incapacitated or dies. Choosing who this person should therefore be carefully considered because they will be in charge of your loved one’s finances.

With all this in mind, at the first sign of dementia in your loved one, please consider speaking with Attorney Denise Stewart and her team at Estate & Long Term Care Law Group. We would be happy to guide you through the specifics of Washington estate planning laws.

Written by ELTC Law Group

ELTC Law Group

We have been in business since 2007, helping the elderly and their families with a wide range of different issues including estate planning, asset preservation, long-term care, and post-death issues.