The Alzheimer’s Foundation reports that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease. The rates of this disease are rising as the population ages, and the risk of this condition becomes greater as people get older.
If you or someone in your family is one of the millions who gets an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you need to address a variety of legal issues and personal issues that can arise. Frank & Kraft can help. We provide advice to patients who are newly diagnosed and concerned about their future, to patients with advancing Alzheimer’s, and to family members and caregivers. Give us a call at (317) 684-1100 to find out about the legal services offered by our Indianapolis Alzheimer’s planning lawyers and to get answers to questions including:
- What are some of the legal issues involved in coping with Alzheimer’s?
- What should I do after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
- How can an Indianapolis Alzheimer’s planning lawyer help?
What are Some of the Legal Issues Involved in Coping With Alzheimer’s?
Coping with Alzheimer’s means taking care of the needs of the patient and family members. The patient will eventually need nursing home care in most situations, so you will need to make decisions on how this should be paid for and on what nursing home environment is likely to provide the best care.
The patient will probably be unable to make his or her own decisions in the future due to the advancing dementia that Alzheimer’s causes, so plans also need to be made for who should have legal authority. Finally, when a patient with Alzheimer’s passes away, legal issues can arise regarding what happens to assets.
All of these issues, and many more, can be addressed by getting professional legal guidance in a timely manner. Frank & Kraft can help you to get started today with planning to cope with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
What Should I Do After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, patients need to try to get their affairs in order as soon as possible. If you are still of sound mind, you can still create estate planning documents and can still plan for your future. Some of the different steps you may wish to take include:
- Updating or creating an estate plan. Creating a last will and testament and making use of trusts and other estate planning tools can help you to determine what your legacy will be. You can make sure heirs are cared for and that the products of your life’s work is used to support people and causes you care about.
- Making a plan for nursing home costs. With Medicaid planning, you may be able to protect some or all of your assets and get Medicaid to pay for nursing home care when the Alzheimer’s eventually makes it impossible for you to continue living independently.
- Creating advanced directives for medical care. You should ensure you’ve named someone who will act as your healthcare proxy and make decisions if you can’t. You may also wish to make your preferences known regarding the use of extraordinary measures to prolong your life.
- Creating an incapacity plan. Be sure to specify who is going to make your decisions for you and manage your assets when Alzheimer’s advances and you cannot take care of yourself any longer.
Caregivers and family members can also take steps to protect themselves and the people they love. If someone you care about has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Frank & Kraft can help you to:
- Explore options for free and subsidized respite care from services like the VA (for eligible veterans and family members) and other local and government organizations.
- Review nursing home admissions paperwork to ensure you do not sign anything giving up the rights of the patient or your own rights.
- Pursue guardianship proceedings if you need to take control over your loved one’s assets and decision-making and there is no power of attorney in place.
Both patients and caregivers deserve to make full use of all available legal tools that can protect their interests. Frank & Kraft will take care of technical and legal issues for you so you can focus on time with family.
How can an Indianapolis Alzheimer’s Planning Lawyer Help?
At Frank & Kraft, we know a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is not only life-changing for the patient, but also for family members. Our goal is to try to take the stress out of the diagnosis, protect patients and caregivers, and give you the legal tools necessary to cope with a diagnosis. Give us a call today at (317) 684-1100 or contact us online to find out more about the assistance that we can offer during a difficult time in your life.