When do I need a lawyer?

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, advance legal planning is really important. If you make legal plans early in the stage of this disease, your loved one will be able to tell you their wishes. This will go a long way toward eliminating confusion and problems later on. You and your family will be able to work through complex legal documents without any guesswork. Some issues you need to address are: What are the plans for healthcare and long term care? How are we going to handle finances and property issues? How do we name someone to make decisions on behalf of our loved one?
An important topic for family discussion is ‘legal capacity’. That’s just the name for the ability to read and understand a document. Can your loved one understand the consequences of signing a legal document? The answer to this can vary depending on the documents. Before signing any legal documents you should talk with your loved one so you can gauge their understanding of what they’re signing. You might have to ask a medical expert their opinion if you have any concerns about what your loved one really understands. It’s a good idea to take an inventory of all previous legal documents to see if any need updating.
Legal planning can be scary and confusing so hiring a lawyer can be extremely helpful. A lawyer can help you through the legal process and make sure everything is taken care of. If you do go to a lawyer, make sure you discuss:

  • Options for healthcare decision making for your loved one
  • Options for managing your loved one’s personal care and their property
  • Possible coverage of long-term care services, including what is provided by Medicare,Medicaid, veteran benefits, and other long-term insurance
    For a more in-depth discussion of legal planning, read the pamphlet at: http://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_legalplans.pdf Have you been through the legal process with a loved one? What do you recommend? Comment below or go to our Facebook page and share your experiences.

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    Filed under Alzheimer's, Health care services

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