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
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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