Legal & Financial Planning Seminar on Thursday, October 18 at Prowers Medical Center
If you have a loved one who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, make it a priority to discuss finances and life decisions now, when the person can give meaningful input. Waiting can often make it more challenging. Without the proper paperwork in place, accessing your loved one’s funds—even for care—can be difficult.
“Planning early in the disease process means the person with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia can have a voice and help make choices about important issues,” said Ann Carter, Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association – Southern Colorado.
It’s important to sit down together and discuss life decisions for the future, including where your loved one wants to live, what type of care is needed, and most importantly, setting up a durable power of attorney and healthcare proxy so you can make financial and medical decisions for your loved one later on. Be aware that some banks require their own power of attorney form to be filled out, even if you have one set up by a lawyer. By getting your name on your loved one’s bank accounts and retirement accounts you can avoid problems later on when you want to access funds.
“If families wait too long to plan, there can be difficult and sometimes expensive consequences,” Carter said.
It may seem like you have a lot of time, but it’s best to not put it off in order to take advantage of your loved one’s full brain power now to plan for next steps. Even if you have a long term care policy to help cover the costs of care for the first few years, it is always wise to consult with an experienced elder law attorney or financial planner about how to best handle assets. For example, with the right help, your loved one might qualify for Medicaid in the future. If that is a part of a future plan, giving money to your children may need to be done at least five years before applying, according to Kiplinger.com.
If elderly parents start having trouble managing their money it might be time to step in and take over. Your mother and father might be embarrassed about losing their ability to manage money and try to hide it. Look for clues like trouble calculating a tip, reading a bank statement or finding unopened bills or missing money from a bank account. If you see these signs, it’s time to step in. Help maintain your parents’ sense of independence by providing some cash on hand, limiting credit cards and their spending limits, and setting up autopay for bills. With limited access, they will be less likely to become a victim of fraud.
If you are unsure of where to start, mark your calendar for an upcoming seminar to receive guidance on legal and financial planning. Myka Landry, Elder Law Attorney and volunteer with The Alzheimer’s Association will offer insights. The no-cost event takes place Thursday, October 18 from 10 am to Noon at Prowers Medical Center.
Legal & Financial Planning Seminar for Alzheimer’s
Thursday, October 18
10 am to Noon
Prowers Medical Center, Education Room
To RSVP, call 719-544-5720, ext. 304
In addition, Prowers Medical Center sponsors an ongoing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group. The group, facilitated by Lamar resident Lillian Norman, meets on the third Thursday of every month at 401 Kendall Drive, in the Education Room from 11:00 am to noon.