In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson explains how people with Alzheimer’s can still sign documents at certain times.
Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
I think we, in a lot of cases, might assume that once someone has received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s that that means they can’t sign documents. That’s going to be the case at some point in the disease process, but it’s not necessarily the case early on. The question is really whether, at some basic level, the person who is going to sign the documents knows what they are signing and understands its purpose. One of the things that is particularly helpful there is that the test of capacity to sign a legal document is at the time of signing.
Why that is particularly important in the case of people with Alzheimer’s is that they will have good days and bad days, and maybe be better in the morning than they would be later in the day when sun downers kicks in. So, a person doesn’t have to meet the capacity test all the time and every day, as long as they’re with it at the time that they sign the document, that means that they’re okay to sign it. Obviously, the lesson here, though, is that there’s a window of opportunity to get important legal documents signed when someone has Alzheimer’s and you don’t want that window to close.
So, if you, or a loved one, has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and you don’t yet have legal documents in place, make that a priority, get that done. Thanks!
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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 (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.