You expected your parents to develop some difficulties as they got older, but you never dreamed you’d learn that your mom or dad was developing dementia or showing signs of Alzheimer’s before age 65.
Unfortunately, that’s becoming far more common. In 2013, only slightly more than 4 people out of 10,000 were diagnosed with some form of dementia prior to their 65th birthday. By 2017, that number had tripled – and it’s still rising.
What do you do now? What can your parents do to prepare for the future? Here are a few things that should be considered:
Many people incorrectly believe they won’t qualify for Medi-Cal benefits because they have too much income or too many assets – but there are legal steps you can take to protect those assets and still qualify. It just takes careful advance planning to avoid complications.
Powers of attorney
At some point in the future, you know that your parent is going to need someone to manage their finances and make medical decisions for them. By choosing who to give powers of attorney to now, they can be assured that someone they trust (and someone who loves them) is in charge of what matters most.
An advance directive or living will can be made now – while your parent is just in the earliest stages of their disease – which will allow them to express their heartfelt desires when it comes to their last days. While living wills may not cover every situation, they’re a good guideline for the person who has their medical power of attorney to use.
Last will and testament
Preparing their will now gives your loved one the ability to direct how they want their assets to be distributed after their death. This is especially important if your parent wants to make certain that family heirlooms, especially valuable items or things with significant sentimental importance get to the right hands.
There are all kinds of unique tools available out there for effective estate planning – but you don’t want to delay this process any longer than necessary. A proactive approach is the key to protecting your parent’s future.