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How does a family history of dementia impact estate planning?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Estate Planning |

When developing a plan for your assets and end-of-life wishes, having a family history of dementia adds another layer of consideration.

Planning ahead can offer peace of mind and ensure your family honors your wishes while staying prepared for the potential of a life-altering illness.

1. Family health history awareness

Learn your family’s health history, especially concerning dementia, to gain valuable insights. Recognizing patterns and potential risks can help shape your estate plan more effectively. If current trends continue, estimates indicate that 12 million Americans may have dementia by 2040.

2. Early financial arrangements

Start your estate planning early to allow for thoughtful decision-making. Create a financial strategy that factors in potential cognitive challenges in the future. This includes designating a trusted person to manage your affairs if necessary.

3. Designation of a decision-maker

Appoint a capable person to make decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to do so. This proxy should be someone who understands your values and desires.

4. Protect against exploitation

A family history of dementia may indicate vulnerability to financial exploitation. Implementing safeguards, such as overseeing your finances, can help prevent undue influence.

5. Long-term care considerations

When dementia runs in the family, the diagnosis comes with long-term care costs. With dementia’s financial burden, consider exploring insurance options or setting up a fund for future care.

When the potential for dementia looms, taking these considerations into account while estate planning is even more important. Doing so provides a roadmap that guides your family through challenging times with clarity and confidence.