John was a loving father of three children. He had worked hard his entire life to provide for his family and saved a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, John was diagnosed with dementia in his late 70s, and his memory faded quickly. His children noticed that he was struggling to remember things, and they became concerned about his ability to manage his finances.
John's oldest child, Sarah, took it upon herself to try to help her father manage his finances. She discovered that John had yet to create an estate plan and had no will or trust in place. She also found that John had a life insurance policy that he still needed to pay the premiums on, and the policy had lapsed.
Sarah was devastated by this discovery. She knew that her father had worked hard to provide for his family and had always wanted to leave something behind for them. She also knew that without an estate plan or life insurance policy, her father's assets would be subject to probate, which could be lengthy and expensive.
John's story is a cautionary tale for families with elderly loved ones suffering from dementia. Here are some lessons that can be learned from John's story:
Create an estate plan early: It's important to create one early in life before a person's mental capacity declines. This can help to ensure that their wishes are carried out and can help to avoid probate and other legal issues.
Review and update the estate plan regularly: It's essential to review and update it regularly, particularly if there are significant changes in a person's life, such as the onset of dementia.
Consider the cost of long-term care: Dementia can be costly, particularly if a person requires long-term care. It's important to consider the cost of long-term care when creating an estate plan and to ensure sufficient funds are available to cover these costs.
Discuss finances with family members: It's important to discuss finances with family members, particularly if there are concerns about a person's ability to manage their finances. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and help avoid misunderstandings and conflict.
In conclusion, John's story all too common conversation continually had in my office is a sad reminder of the importance of estate planning, particularly for families with elderly loved ones suffering from dementia. By creating an estate plan early, reviewing and updating it regularly, considering the cost of long-term care, and discussing finances with family members, families can help to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of and that their wishes are carried out, even in the face of dementia.
Call us today before it’s too late and get the help that is needed (410) 405-7996.