A life-changing illness or

injury that takes away the

ability to communicate is

not something we like to

think about, yet the likelihood

rises as our life

expectancy increases.

Alzheimer’s disease, the

most common form of dementia, affects one

in nine Americans age 65 or older, and one in

three for those over the age of 85.1

While it may be difficult to discuss, don’t put

off selecting someone to oversee your medical

and financial affairs. Additionally, knowing

that arrangements have already been taken

care of may reduce the stress on your loved

ones during trying times.

Here are some questions to consider when

meeting with an advisor or attorney about

planning for incapacity.

• What, if any, life-prolonging measures do

you want taken if you are terminally ill or

incapacitated? Who will make those

decisions? A living will and health care

proxy – also known as advance directives –

will allow someone you trust to communicate

your wishes to caregivers.

• What will happen to your financial assets

and debts? Have you appointed an agent

under a durable power of attorney to make

decisions on your behalf, or would you

prefer a court appointed representative?

• Are your bills and other financial records

easily accessible to your agent or family


• Have you updated your living will, health

care proxy, or durable power of attorney?

Have your views on life-sustaining care


• Are your beneficiary designations – which

cannot be changed in a will – up to date?

• Do you have insurance coverage for longterm

care and disability? If so, do you

know the extent of the coverage?

• Does your living will address assisted living

or other long-term care arrangements?

Finally, have you identified an agent – you can name

more than one, including an institution – to act on

your behalf? You may choose anyone you wish, and

it doesn’t have to be a spouse or other family member.

In fact, as these situations are usually emotional,

you might consider an individual who you believe

will be able to act objectively in a time of crisis.

Being prepared is the best defense against an

unforeseen need. Ask your lawyer about setting

set up financial and health care proxies

and a durable power of attorney. I am available

to assist in any way possible.

Sources and Disclaimers:

1Alzheimer’s Association, “2014 Alzheimer’s

Disease Facts and Figures,” March 2014,

retrieved November 20, 2014.

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If you’d like to learn more, please contact

David Chisholm.

Article by Wealth Management Systems Inc.

and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley

Financial Advisor.

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Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan

Stanley”). The opinions expressed by the

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