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Making financial plans after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

Attorney Dan Young with Rose Law Firm joins Theba Lolley for a conversation about financial matters after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — If your loved one receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia, you should be aware of the importance of financial planning.

“It is required and very recommended that all individuals have a power of attorney and a healthcare proxy,” says Dan Young.

In a power of attorney, someone is appointed to assist a person living with Alzheimer’s with property matters, helping make sure bills are paid and assisting with other obligations.

A healthcare proxy is when an individual appoints someone to make healthcare decisions for them in the event they are not able to make those decisions. 

“The reason these documents are important is if an individual does not have them, and becomes incapacitated, a family member or loved one will have to petition the court and the county of the individual’s residence to be appointed guardian,” says Young.

A guardianship may be expensive and take a lot of time, so having a power of attorney and a healthcare proxy, you don’t need to go through those steps because the individual has designated someone to make those decisions.

Dan recommends that clients appoint a primary and a successor or alternate for each document.

“For me, it made me feel really connected because they agreed, understood, and trusted me with their bills and with their future,” says Theba Lolley. "It was daunting, but it gave me a sense of relief."

10 key tips: (Credit: Alzheimer’s Association) 

  1. Discuss finances and future care wishes soon after a diagnosis.
  2. Organize and review important documents.
  3. Seek help from well-qualified financial and legal advisers.
  4. Estimate possible costs for the entire disease process.
  5. Look at all of your insurance options.
  6. Find out for which government programs you are eligible.
  7. Learn about income tax breaks for which you may qualify.
  8. Explore financial support you can personally provide.
  9. Take advantage of low-cost and free community services.
  10. Consider how personal property and work-related benefits can become a source of income.

Reach out to Attorney Dan Young at dyoung@roselawfirm.com.

Alzheimer's Association is available to talk with you about what you may be going through. The 24/7 helpline number is 1-800-272-3900 and resources are available on their website and Facebook page.