Writing a will is an important part of estate planning. If an individual is diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, or another dementia-causing disease but is in a pre-dementia state, it is best to have a will drafted as soon as possible before signs or symptoms of dementia become prevalent. The key is to ensure that the person the will is made for has testamentary capacity, meaning that the person had the mental capacity to make the testament as written. Advanced directives should be laid out in the will to ensure that the patient’s wishes are accounted for.
Knowing when to obtain a formal assessment of a patient’s mental competence is also necessary. This helps prepare the caregiver for understanding the amount of care and the type of activities that should be participated in by the patient with dementia. Potential costs include transportation and the need for daily help with normal living activities. These costs could potentially be supplemented or paid for through insurance.
Aging adults and their children should be aware of potential conditions that could lead to dementia and proper estate planning before a loss of mental capacity. An attorney with experience in estate planning could provide the expertise needed to help ensure the wishes of a patient are outlined within a legal document.