When you are going through life as a healthy adult it can be difficult to wrap your head around a period of time preceding your death when you may not be able to make your own decisions. There are those who recognize the fact that it is possible but they assume that it is unlikely. The facts tell a different tale.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association one out of every eight people who reach the age of 65 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. As you get older it becomes more likely that you will be afflicted with this scourge on our nation’s elderly. It is estimated that around 40% of people 85 years of age and up are Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Alzheimer’s causes dementia, and dementia can make it difficult to understand problems and make decisions. Of course Alzheimer’s is not the only cause of dementia and dementia is not the only cause of incapacitation.
To prepare yourself for this possibility you would do well to execute durable powers of attorney. Since they are “durable” they remain in effect after the incapacitation of the grantor. Because of the fact that the individual that you would like to see making your health care decisions may not be the best money manager that you know, you can execute two different durable powers of attorney, one for medical decisions and one for financial decisions. While doing so you name different attorneys-in-fact for each respective purpose.
If you are going to use a last will when you’re planning for the future you also have to decide on an executor or personal representative to administer your estate. This is an important decision because the role of executor is not just a ceremonial one.
There is a lot of business that must be tended to, and depending on the size and scope of your estate its administration can be time intensive. You need to consider these things when you are choosing an executor and make sure that your representative is sufficiently business savvy and capable of devoting the time that it takes to resolve your final affairs.
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.