Parent Has Dementia? Have Them Sign A Living Will And Financial Durable Power Of Attorney

Law Blog

If your parent has been diagnosed with dementia, it is a slow-progressing disease. They generally go through seven stages and the first stage may last a few years. This gives you a lot of time to prepare for when your parent gets to the last stage and they have no memory at all. To start with, you should have your parent sign a living will and a durable financial power of attorney. It is imperative that you do this while they are still in their right mind. This is because if they are not, then you could not legally obtain these two documents. Below is some more information about this to help you get started.

Living Will

If your parent does not have a living will they should prepare one now while they can.  A living will is not the same thing as a traditional will where the person states where they want their money, property, kids, etc. to go. A living will, which is also known as an advance directive, allows your parent to state how they want their end-of-life medical care taken care of. This living will activates when your parent is no longer able to make sound medical decisions. Once your parent passes away, the living will has no power.

This document can be very beneficial to guide you and other family members on how to care for your parent. Without the will, you would have to guess what they would want when it comes to their treatment options. This could end up with you and your other family members fighting. For example, your parent may wish to not be left on life support.

To create a living will you should hire an attorney. This is because the requirements of the will depend on the state that you live in. The attorney can ensure everything is done correctly.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Your parent will eventually not be able to make good financial decisions. Depending on the stage they are in this may already be happening. For example, they may find it difficult to balance a checkbook, may spend more money than they normally do, and may even take out loans they do not need.

All of this can result in a disaster for your parent, as well as the rest of the family. To prevent this from happening, you should get a durable financial power of attorney. This document allows you to take over your parents' finances. It also gives you legal authority to act on the behalf of your parent. Talk with your parent about this as they will have to sign it the same time you sign it.

Hire an attorney to create the durable power of attorney for you. This will ensure you will have all the rights you need to care for your parent.

Talk with an attorney like those at Wright Law Offices, PLLC about other things you should do to help with this situation.


7 August 2017