Alzheimer's and Dementa Caregiving, Dementia Caregiver Stories

Financial and Legal Planning

This is some next level adult stuff. It's okay if it scares you.

Things to know

In time, your Loved One won't be able to make financial, health, and legal decisions.

A durable power of attorney, advance directive, will, and other documents will give you guidance to make decisions on their behalf.

ISSUE

Now. Time matters. S/he has more capacity today than they will in the future. And, while you're at, consider doing your own financial and legal planning.

It will save you time and stress-- for example, you can manage an account without bringing your Loved One to the bank.

TIMING

Our stories and guides will help you map our an approach, but remember:

1. Emotions may run high; as always, keep your Loved One's point of view in mind and remember working with your family can be tricky. 

2. Lawyers may be legal experts, but you and your Loved One are experts on your family's needs; trust yourself

AN APPROACH

How they did it

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TESS

Age: Late 20s

Loved One: Mom, Mid-50s

Diagnosis: Early Onset

Years Since Diagnosis: 5

I struggled to get her to talk about life planning - her will, her estate. I’ve had to force the subject. A year ago,  four years into the diagnosis I said “I need power of attorney.” She was not happy but we weren’t moving forward. I went to a lawyer’s open house and booked an appointment. I brought her out to eat one day and tacked the lawyer’s appointment onto the end. 

 

The mail had gone missing. She would take the mail and then couldn’t keep track of it.  I got a PO Box. All my mail and her mail goes there . Mailers go to the house so she can look at those. I had t get all the utility, insurance, bank statements sent to the PO Box. Getting Power of Attorney let me do that for her accounts too.

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EMMA

Age: Mid-60s

Loved One: Husband, Early 60s

Diagnosis: Early Onset

Years Since Diagnosis: 6

I had to extract him from his medical practice.  I had to get all of the legal papers together. Until that time, we had one of those divided, not emotionally but divide and conquer relationships. He did most of the financial and the legal and the car stuff. I did most of the house and child raising and I worked full time. We had a good rhythm. 

 

We already had a will. But, I had to amend those. Because, if something happened to me, it couldn't be my husband anymore. I have friend who's a lawyer, and he helped me navigate the malpractice extrication. What's really a gift is his partners went back and looked at months of his work to make sure that they didn't miss anything.  So they were totally on board with me.

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SHANNON

Age: Early 60s

Loved One: Husband, Mid-60s

Diagnosis: Early Onset

Years Since Diagnosis: 7

My husband and I  kept our finances separate.  When my husband was diagnosed, we immediately got his legal and financial affairs in order. I got power of attorney.  

 

I didn't have a career job.  I raised my kids. I'm not a saver.  I told him “I’ll tell you how much my bills are and you pay me each week. Then you keep the rest of the money.” I thought he was going to save everything. He was working and I never paid attention to finances. When he got sick, I realized there was no money.  So, all of a sudden, I am back in the workforce at entry level. I met with a lawyer.

How you can do it

Learn more about how other caregivers have navigated financial and legal planning

MORE PLANNING STORIES

We are building a guide to help you navigate legal and financial planning. Have ideas on what you would find helpful? Let us know!

COMING SOON -

PLANNING GUIDE