During a presentation (11/07/15) at an event hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland, I was excited to hear some of the questions coming from audience members. Many of whom are caregivers navigating the challenges of taking care of a loved one with Dementia.
A few of the questions revolved around issues related to: what can be done now that a loved one has limited capacity to make decisions?
Giving them the news that it may be too late for some estate planning documents due to a lack of capacity was not a good feeling, for example:
- Last Will and Testament
- Power of Attorney for Finances
- Advance Directive (Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Will)
For many in attendance, “Advance Planning” was no longer an option for their family member. This was an opportunity for me to stress the importance of “Advance Planning.”
Perhaps a caregiver would get the message and seek help to start on his or her own estate plan before an illness or incapacity sets in. That was my hope for the presentation – that at least one person would take the information that I presented on and put a plan into place.
If the attendees took nothing else away from that gathering, I wanted them to remember a few words; this is worth repeating – “once a person has limited capacity, the available planning options become scarce, and life can become much more complicated for all involved.”
Planning early while you are well has numerous benefits for individuals, families and caregivers. You never know what may happen in this lifetime. I hope you live well.