An Alzheimer Attorney, who should be an experienced Elder Law attorney, can help you and/or your family understand the legal rights and legal risks, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Additionally, the attorney needs to have deep experience in Medicaid planning to preserve family assets given the high probability of needing nursing home care as the disease progresses.
Around 5.5 million Americans, over 65, have Alzheimer’s disease. It negatively affects their personal, social and families, it can be difficult for them and/or their family to make the right legal decisions, without consulting an experienced elder law attorney.
In 2018, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named Alzheimer’s disease as the sixth most common cause of death. People with dementias and their families need to know the full scope of the legal issues involved by consulting with an Alzheimer’s attorney.
What Does An Alzheimer Attorney Do For You?
The goal is to ensure that the person with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia remains independent for as long as possible. To ensure this independence, early involvement of the person with dementia enables them to be involved and express their wishes about future care and decisions.
After consulting with the experienced elder law attorney, hopefully there will be no guesswork on the part of the family. The person with dementia has designated who is to make decisions for them. Having designated a “decider” for them, now the afflicted person and their designee can get to work on the complex legal and financial issues that are looming.
Alzheimer Attorney Discusses Looming Issues
What are some of the looming legal and financial issues you may ask? Let me list a few major items that an Alzheimer Attorney would help everyone involved deal with:
- The first issue is what is determining the legal capacity of the person with dementia. An elder law attorney can determine what level of legal capacity is required for what type of document. Some documents require higher levels of capacity than others do. If there are concerns about a person’s legal capacity, a medical doctor will be involved.
- Based on the person’s assets and circumstances there may be few new documents needed or quite a few documents needed. Even if documents have been prepared in the past, those older documents need to be reviewed for any changes desired and/or updating them to be within the current laws.
- Once you have completed the above two tasks a discussion on each of the legal documents recommended and what these documents do with the consequences of signing them or not signing them so they are thoroughly understood by those involved needs to occur.
- Another major necessary discussion with your Alzheimer attorney is on how to pay for long-term care. This is likely to happen at some point. Some people with dementia need assisted living and/or nursing home care sooner and some somewhat later. This involves discussion about Medicaid planning, possible VA benefits, long-term care insurance, etc.
Some Final Thoughts for You
People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are vulnerable to abuse, physical harm, abandonment, neglect, and financial exploitation. The main job of an Elder Law attorney who is knowledgeable in working with those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their families is to make sure that the person with the diagnosis is protected with the family assets preserved so they don’t go broke in a nursing home one day. Attorney Frazier has worked over 3,000 Medicaid planning cases without having a single one that did not result in coverage for care.
There is little disagreement that it is best for everyone concerned to engage an Alzheimer attorney while the person afflicted with dementia is still assessed as having legal capacity to make decisions and sign documents. Everyone wins the earlier one works with an experienced Elder Law attorney.
To take the first step you can contact by phone or email Attorney Frazier for your no cost telephone consultation to see if he can help you.
Not ready for that step? That is OK. We have free eBooks on Elder Law topics for you to download now so you can learn more.
Are you worried about what hiring an elder law lawyer might cost and is Attorney Frazier the right one for you? Read more about these issues now when you are ready.