If someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and they don’t have their estate planning documents in place, the time to get them in order is now, while they still have the chance and before there are going to be any doubts about the validity of the documents.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law Attorney, answers the question: Can someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease make out a Will or a Living Trust?
Alzheimer’s Disease and the Validity of Wills and Trusts
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. I want to address today the question of whether someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease can still make out a Will or a Living Trust or sign Powers of Attorney. The answer to that question is that it depends. Alzheimer’s is not an automatic disqualifier. It depends on whether the person, at the time of signing, understands some important things.
For a Will or a Living Trust, they have to know who their family members are. They have to have an idea that “I have a wife, two sons and three daughters.” They have to have, at least in general terms, an idea of what money and property they have. And they have to be able to form a plan for how they want it to be distributed when they die.
Now, one of the things, sometimes people with Alzheimer’s will have, if you will, good days and bad days, even good times of day and bad times of day. The test of capacity is measured as the time the documents are signed. So, if somebody is “with it” when they form a plan, “with it” when they sign the documents, those should be valid, legal documents even if you ask them the same questions three days later, or even the next day, they may not be able to go through that thought process.
Obvious key here, if somebody is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s well-nigh time to get those estate planning documents in place while you still have the chance and before there’re going to be any doubts about the validity of the documents. Thanks so much.
For more on Alzheimer’s Planning, visit these articles:
- Second Childhood: Parenting Lessons for Dealing with Elders with Dementia
- When Will Guardianship be Necessary?
- Alzheimer’s Planning
Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.