Articles Tagged with Houston Incapacity Planning

When a loved one begins to show signs of cognitive decline, it can become difficult to emotionally reconcile who they once were with who they are becoming. They also will need more assistance with many daily activities—this may include their ability to handle their finances. While it may seem like an uncomfortable or awkward subject to approach, loved ones of the individual in cognitive decline should help develop a financial plan as soon as possible. Below are tips that individuals should take into consideration when planning for the future with loved ones with cognitive decline.

Start the Process as Early as Possible

It is critical to begin financial planning with a person whose mental faculties are declining as soon as possible. This increases the likelihood that the person in cognitive decline can still explain their wishes and wants about their future with their family. By having these discussions, family members assisting with the process will be confident later on they are making decisions that the person would have wanted. The loved one can then express their preference about these financial decisions, including who they want to manage their finances, how to use their money to pay for their future expenses and the bounds of these expenses. A great first step is executing a durable (financial) power of attorney.

Once best known for her chart-topping hits, Britney Spears is now in the limelight for a much more somber reason.

For over a decade, Ms. Spears has been under a conservatorship following a decline in her mental health. That conservatorship has recently gained attention and notoriety as Ms. Spears and those around her allege that the arrangement has been abusive. The story of her conservatorship raises an alarming question: If a conservatorship could happen to a woman as powerful as Britney Spears, could it happen to you, too?

Fortunately, there are well-established ways to avoid a court-ordered conservatorship or guardianship in the event of incapacitation. Specifically, trusts and estates lawyers can help build a legal shield in the form of a revocable living trust.

Woman with doctorThe older the patients, the less likely they are to discuss a memory problem with their doctor during an office visit, according to a review of federal government data from more than 10,000 people. This review, published in Preventing Chronic Disease, also revealed that in 2011 as few as 1 in 4 adults age 45 and older discussed memory problems with their physician during routine checkups. The journal article and its findings were reported in US News & World Report's "Too Few Older Adults Tell Doctors About Memory Loss: Study."

Routine checkups can be a missed opportunity for assessing and discussing memory problems for the majority of older adults. Experts say the stigma of memory loss and dementia may keep some from discussing these issues with their doctors.
Many think that as long as we don't mention it, memory loss might just be normal aging. However, talking about memory troubles doesn't necessarily mean you have dementia. It might be another highly treatable condition, like depression. But if it is related to dementia, recognizing it early is crucial.

Patients can meet with family members and an experienced elder law attorney to get advice on making individualized decisions for their care, rather than relying on last-minute decisions.

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