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Managing Money For a Loved One with Dementia

DementiaAdvance planning is the key to managing many of the tough issues that arise when you’re handling finances for someone with dementia.

Fortunately, if a parent has given their loved one a  power of attorney, it lets them make financial decisions when that parent cannot manage these duties for themselves. This document might even enable a loved one to establish a trust with the parent’s assets.  Based on my post yesterday, that could save the estate thousands of dollars and an equal amount of time spent to voluntarily subject the estate to probate.

In many cases, managing finances for a loved one with dementia can be very difficult. Nobody relishes the thought of gathering around the dinner table, talking about the risks of aging. However, statistics on this subject cannot be ignored: 70% of everyone age 65 or older will require a period of long-term care; the chances are too high to simply ignore this problem.

Here’s another shocking statistic: the "Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study" by the National Institute on Aging found that 14% of Americans age 71 and older have some form of dementia. The Chicago Health and Aging Project estimates that nearly one-third of people 85 and older have Alzheimer’s Disease.  The real issue, however, is that too few families will discuss the topic of managing money and deteriorating faculties the come with age. Only 25% of families surveyed discussed how their parents will be financially provided for or cared for, as they get older, according to a 2014 study by Merrill Lynch.

Then there is this statistic: when looking at people 50 and older, the survey noted that about 50% of those surveyed didn’t have a will, and only 40% had a health care directive.

A large component of estate planning is arranging your finances, so if cognitive decline develops, your caregiver can manage your money and help you maintain your quality of life.

Reference: Forbes (October 31, 2017) “Managing Finances For A Loved One With Dementia”

 

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.