Coping with Alzheimer’s is something no family should ever have to face. Unfortunately, despite some advances, Alzheimer’s remains a progressive and incurable condition. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed, it is important to take prompt action to ensure that the appropriate care can be provided and to ensure that a legacy can be protected. Parman & Easterday is here to help.
Our experienced legal team represents Alzheimer’s patients and their families in Oklahoma City, OK as well as in surrounding locations. We provide assistance in identifying the issues you need to address after a diagnosis and in making sure the patient and his assets are protected both now and in the future. Give us a call today or contact us online for personalized advice and to get answers to questions including:
- How can you protect an Alzheimer’s patient’s assets and medical autonomy?
- What steps should be taken after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
How Can You Protect the Autonomy & Assets of An Alzheimer’s Patient?
At some point in the progression of the disease, a patient with Alzheimer’s is going to lose the ability to manage his assets, to make medical choices, to decide when to go into a nursing home, and to communicate his wishes. At this time, someone will need to take control over managing property and making decisions.
If there is no plan in place in advance, the family members of the patient have to go to court and get guardianship, and the guardian who is selected may not be someone who the Alzheimer’s patient would have chosen. This means that he or she will now have a person acting as their voice who is not their preferred advocate.
To protect the assets and the autonomy of an Alzheimer’s patient, it is best to allow the patient to use all available legal tools to make as many decisions as possible in advance before the disease progresses. This can mean creating a power of attorney to name an agent to manage assets and make healthcare choices; creating an advanced directive and living will to provide medical instructions; and creating living trusts to immediately allow a trustee to take control over property or money.
What Steps Should You Take After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
A power of attorney, and advanced directives for healthcare are very important because these documents give an Alzheimer’s patient the maximum ability to control his own destiny. Both must be created when still of sound mind.
There are also other steps to take and other legal documents to create after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and ideally before the disease progresses. If the patient is able, he may wish to update his last will and testament and to create a comprehensive estate plan so he can determine who will inherit assets and how loved ones should be provided for. Depending upon the value of the estate, steps could also be taken to try to reduce estate taxes.
One of the most important issues to address during this planning process, however, is to make sure there are protections in place for the patient’s assets so there will actually be an estate to leave behind. There is a very strong chance the Alzheimer’s patient will wind up needing nursing home care, or at least costly home care. By talking with an experienced attorney about creating a Medicaid plan, it may be possible to shield assets from being spent on nursing home care and to get Medicaid to cover nursing home costs. Medicaid planning must be done as early as possible before nursing care is needed, so do not wait to get started after a diagnosis.
How can an Oklahoma City, OK Alzheimer’s Planning Lawyer Help?
With an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it is often beneficial for the patient and family to take as much control as possible over the next phase of their life. This means making advanced plans to provide protection for the patient, his autonomy, and his assets. Parman & Easterday can help patients and their families located in and around Oklahoma City, OK.
From making advanced decisions on healthcare to fighting to get nursing home care costs covered, our legal team will work hard to equip you with the legal tools you need and to provide the assistance you deserve after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 in Oklahoma City to find our about how we can help your family. You can also contact us online to get started.