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Estate Planning For Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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Phelps LaClair (with offices in Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa) serves the Phoenix Valley as a leader in estate planning. As part of our series on long-term care planning, this post will focus on one of the critical issues facing our elder community: estate planning for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Here is a poem by poet laureate Billy Collins that describes the condition:

“The name of the author is the first to go

followed obediently by the title, the plot,

the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel

which suddenly becomes one you have never read,

never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor

decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,

to a little fishing village where there are no phones.”

― Billy Collins

A family member who has received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (which is a type of dementia) needs to consider the reality of this degenerative disease. It will not get better, it will not go away. It will only get worse and nobody can predict how quickly it will progress. It is essential, then, for you to plan out how to provide for the expenses of long-term care that will affect the entire family, should you or a loved one develop dementia.

Long-Term Care Costs

As we noted in a previous post, long-term nursing home care costs in the Phoenix area average between $6500 to $8300 per month. How will you pay for that, if dementia or Alzheimers affects a family member and requires skilled nursing care? Most health insurance policies don’t cover long-term care costs. And add to that the need for ongoing medical treatment, prescription drugs, safety improvements for the home, or in-home care expenses for someone with Alzheimers or dementia. It doesn’t take long for your financial outlay to add up to the point where it drains your estate . . . and leaves you with little or nothing to pass on to your heirs.

Long-Term Care Resources

There are solutions. You can be prepared for long-term care while still preserving your inheritance. But planning should happen now, long before the need arises. This is especially true with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Phelps LaClair has helped families successfully plan for the future, including long-term care, for over 40 years. We can help you with estate planning for Alzheimer’s and dementia, and for the possibility of needing future skilled nursing care—without spending your children’s inheritance or leaving your family in the poorhouse. Come in and sit down with us. Let’s plan together how to best protect your estate, no matter what the future brings, and protect your hard-earned financial assets from the expenses of unforeseen long-term care expenses.

 

 

Images used under creative commons license (Commerical Use) 01/22/19 (Life Of Pix)  Photo by Ibrahim Rifath

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