If you are worried about diseases like dementia and losing the ability to manage your own finances or estate, you should make preparations now. An attorney from our firm can help you plan for anything and answer any questions that you have about important estate planning documents or power of attorney. Here’s what you need to know.

Does Financial Power of Attorney Kick In If I Get Dementia?

Yes, you can set things up this way. Normally when you give someone a financial power of attorney, it’s in effect right away. However, the person who has this responsibility knows that you are still competent, so they do not use their power.

If you want to be sure that someone else cannot try to use this power of attorney early, you can use what’s often referred to as a “springing power of attorney.” This means that your selected person only gets the ability to make medical decisions for you once you have been declared incapacitated. The issue with this is that it can take a while for a doctor to declare someone incapacitated. If there are pressing issues to handle, no one would be in a position to address them until this declaration and the activation of your financial power of attorney.

Who Makes My Healthcare Decisions If I Have Dementia?

A financial power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions, so it makes sense that a healthcare power of attorney gives someone the ability to make your medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. You can give the same person both of these powers or you can split up the responsibilities between two people.

The person who gets your healthcare power of attorney would be able to get access to your medical records. They would also make all of your decisions for you if you were incapacitated by dementia or another disease.

Can I Make My Wishes Known Before I Get Sick?

You do not just have to give someone your healthcare power of attorney and make them guess at what you would want. You can write a living will that expresses your wishes concerning end-of-life care. This document can address matters like:

  • What kinds of surgeries and treatments you would want
  • Whether you would want to be kept alive with devices like ventilators or feeding tubes
  • If you would want to be resuscitated

A living will can help your proxy make an informed decision about your care.

What Other Documents Should I Have a Lawyer Prepare?

It’s also a good idea to write a will long before you have to worry about dementia and other debilitating diseases affecting you. This allows you to specify who would get your assets after you pass away. You can also discuss other estate planning options with our lawyers. Maybe there’s a type of trust that you could make good use of or another arrangement that can better protect your assets.

Talk to Our Legal Team

Every estate is different, so schedule a consultation at the Lauterbach Law Firm. We can address your unique needs and help you plan for just about anything.