If you have avoided thinking about the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease, you are hardly alone; however, from an estate planning perspective it is imperative that you do consider the possibility. If you develop Alzheimer’s in the future, someone else will need to take over control of your assets and make important decisions for you eventually. You can decide who that person will be instead of letting a court decide, but you must take steps to make that decision a legally binding decision. Fortunately, the Los Angeles estate planning lawyers at Collins Law Firm can help you plan for the possibility that you will develop Alzheimer’s at some point down the road.
Understanding Alzheimer’s – Facts and Figures You Need to Know
You probably already know that the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s has grown in recent decades; however, you may not be aware of just how prevalent the disease is nor the financial and practical impact it has on everyone involved. The following facts and figures may put things in perspective:
- Alzheimer’s was identified over a century ago, in 1906.
- 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia disease.
- Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
- Early onset Alzheimer’s is thought to be genetic.
- There are approximately 5 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s in the U.S.
- By the year 2050, experts predict the number of people suffering from the disease in the U.S. to increase to 16 million.
- Alzheimer’s causes more than just loss of memory. Your body essentially forgets how to function. Alzheimer’s disease causes death, as its progression eventually prevents the individual from engaging innate abilities like moving and swallowing.
- Minorities are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s.
- Every 66 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s. By the middle of this century, experts predict that someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds if a way to prevent or cure the disease is not found.
Planning for the Possibility of Developing Alzheimer’s
If you do develop Alzheimer’s, there will likely come a time when you are no longer able to make decisions nor manage your assets. By planning for that eventuality now, you can decide who will take over for you by using any of several incapacity planning tools, such as:
- Revocable Living Trust – this allows you to create a trust and name yourself as the Trustee along with someone of your choosing as the successor Trustee. Major assets are transferred into the trust and managed by you if you are able to do so. In the event of your incapacity, your chosen successor Trustee takes over automatically and without the need for any additional legal steps to be taken.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney – this is a type of advance directive that allows you to appoint an Agent who will have the legal authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself due to incapacity.
- Living Will – another type of advance directive that lets you make important decisions regarding certain types of medical treatment now in the event you are unable to provide informed consent at a later date.
Contact Los Angeles Estate Planning Lawyers
For more information, please attend one of our FREE WEBINARS. If you have additional questions about planning for the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s, consult with me, a Los Angeles estate planning lawyer. Contact the Collins Law Firm by calling (310) 677-9787 to register for one of our FREE estate planning workshops.