Planning for Loss of Memory and the Inability to Make Sound Decisions

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may lack or gradually lose the ability to think clearly. This development impacts his or her ability to make decisions and participate in legal and financial planning. If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you should begin the planning as soon as possible. 

Certain legal documents can help ensure your wishes are followed as the disease progresses and make it possible for others to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so. These documents include:

Power of Attorney for Health Care

A power of attorney for health care allows you to name a person you trust to make health care decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to make them on your own. Medical decisions covered by your power of attorney for health care can include choice of doctors and other health care providers; types of treatments; long-term care facilities; end-of-life care decisions, such as the use of feeding tubes; and do not resuscitate orders.

Power of Attorney for Finances

Similar in concept to the power of attorney for healthcare, a power of attorney for finances allows you to designate another person to make decisions about your finances, such as income, assets, and investments, when you can longer make them yourself.

By choosing your decision-makers in advance through powers of attorney, you and your loved ones can avoid the expense, stress, delays, and potential for family infighting associated with a court-ordered guardianship proceeding.

Living Will

A living will allows you to express your wishes regarding what medical treatments you want, or do not want, in an end of life situation. A living will differs from a durable power of attorney for health care in that it outlines your wishes specifically, whereas a power of attorney for health care allows someone else to make health care decisions for you. Another benefit of a living will is that it spares your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions about your care without knowing what you would have wanted.



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Elder Care

Alexander S. Keenan, Esq.
Alexander S. Keenan, Esq.
Hi, I'm Alex. I consider myself an approachable attorney. I have called the beautiful Hudson Valley home for most of my life. After focusing on things like international commercial law and litigation, I took a step back and pivoted towards helping my community plan for life's greatest moments. My firm specializes in estate planning, small business law, and real estate law.