A diagnosis of
Alzheimer's disease or another
dementia often raises some important legal and
financial issues for the future. The person with dementia should be involved in
these decisions as long as he or she is able and willing to be involved.
Obtain professional legal advice as soon as
possible. Early in the course of the disease, the person with dementia may be
capable of participating in legal and financial planning.
State and local bar associations will be able
to provide the names of attorneys practicing in your area who deal with these
For certain types of legal advice, the Legal Aid Society,
the local Area Agency on Aging, or the Alzheimer's Association will be able to
help you find legal assistance at low cost.
As soon as possible after the condition is
diagnosed, talk about writing a
living will and assigning a
durable power of attorney for health care. These
documents will ensure that the person's wishes for medical care, especially
life-sustaining treatment, are in writing.
Determine whether the
person is or will be eligible for Medicaid, and investigate long-term care
insurance and financing options.
Locate documents necessary to
assess the legal and financial affairs of the person. These include wills and
trusts, prior tax returns, health and life insurance policies, pension
information, deeds, mortgages, bank accounts, and information on other
Review the ownership of the person's
property. Discuss with your attorney the implications of transferring
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.