On the surface estate planning may seen like a pretty cut and dried matter. You make an appointment and spend some time with an estate planning lawyer, draw up a will or a trust, and that’s it, end of story. This can can be the way you go about it, but if you want to be sure that you are truly prepared for all of the eventualities of aging, you would do well to take a more comprehensive approach.
Ii is human nature to assume that the state of consciousness that you are in at any given time will persist throughout your life. So when you visualize the end of your life and the period preceding the distribution of your estate, all you can do is expect that you will feel more or less as you do right now mentally up until the time you pass away. Unfortunately the statistics tell a different story, as hard as it may be to accept.
Just about everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but unless you have a family member who has contracted it or you happen to have done a considerable amount of research, you probably don’t know just how widespread this affliction has become. It is estimated that one out of every eight senior citizens has Alzheimer’s disease. Some 50% of those who reach the age of 85 are Alzheimer’s sufferers. Clearly Alzheimer’s disease is a ubiquitous problem by any logical barometer and it would seem as though it is going to get worse before it gets better given the rapid expansion of the elder population.
Alzheimer’s disease causes dementia, and among other things dementia limits one’s ability to analyze data and make sound decisions. Preparing for the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease impairing your decision-making abilities makes incapacity planning a necessity. Unless you have already addressed this contingency it may be a good idea to consult with an elder law attorney and do what is necessary to protect yourself and your family from the challenges that Alzheimer’s disease can present.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.