How Setting Up a Trust for a Family Member with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Can Help with Money

One of the most challenging aspects of caring for a family member with dementia is the fact that the disease is progressive. Your loved one might have a few good days, and then struggle to perform basic life tasks. According to the National Institute on Aging, one of the first signs that your family member might be struggling can include problems managing money [1].

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, one of the most important next steps should be to begin the estate planning process. If you wait too long to write a will or plan your estate, you could run the risk that the will might end up getting challenged in probate with the accusation that the person writing the will was mentally incapacitated at the time of writing. The estate and trust law firm in Palm Beach, Florida at Moran & Associates can assist you and your family with the trust planning process if your loved one has received this devastating diagnosis. We understand the unique challenges that families face in the wake of this diagnosis and offer compassionate and caring estate planning to help you meet your unique challenges. 

Another unique challenge that families face when a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia is helping a family member manage his or her money. While the National Institute on Aging provides some helpful tips about how families can help a loved one manage money, one way to protect your loved one’s estate and finances is to set up a trust. A living trust is designed so that the assets in the trust don’t need to pass through probate (or a court process) before your beneficiaries inherit the assets in the trust. Another benefit of setting up a living trust is that you can set up a trustee to manage the assets in the trust should you become incapacitated. While the trustee will only be able to manage assets within the trust, a trust can serve as a financial protection to ensure that a family member doesn’t make financial decisions regarding the entire estate while incapacitated. 

One of the recommendations suggested by the National Institutes on Aging is to give a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia access only to limited amounts of money. By setting up a trust, you and your family can plan to put most of their assets in the trust, while keeping “living expenses” in a more liquid bank account. One of the challenges with dementia or Alzheimer’s is that extended family and the person with the illness may not always be aware that they are in decline. By the time the person realizes they are struggling, or family realizes their loved one is facing challenges, they may have failed to pay bills, or made purchases and financial decisions that aren’t in their best interest. One way to protect your loved one is to set up automatic bill payments. While this can help ensure that bills can get paid, it may not afford the same level of protection that a trust can provide in protecting assets and money.

If you need help with a trust after a loved one’s diagnosis, the trust lawyers in Palm Beach, Florida at Moran & Associates are here to help you. 

[1]: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/legal-and-financial-planning-people-alzheimers 

Firm Contact Info:
Moran & Associates
231 Royal Palm Way
Palm Beach, FL
Phone: 561-779-2029
https://moran.law/palm-beach-trust-and-estate-law-firm/
https://moran.law/palm-beach-trust-law-firm/

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