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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Money problems are an early sign of Alzheimer's disease

A recent article in the New York Times talks about how the ability to understand and deal with finances is one of the first impairments associated with Alzheimer's Disease. I wholeheartedly agree with this finding. My clients tell me that some of the very first things they notice in their aging parents are that the parents forget to pay important bills, misplace bills and paperwork (e.g. insurance policies, receipts, work orders) and sometimes pay a bill multiple times because they've forgotten it's been paid.

When you put those smaller, daily tasks such as bill paying in the context of everything a person needs to do to maintain control over finances, you realize that the problem is probably bigger than you thought. Confusion and/or memory problems make an aging person very vulnerable to unscrupulous people, as well as susceptible to simply making big financial mistakes on their own initiative.

When going through estate planning, you should not just focus on a Will. Of course the Will is essential, but it's not the whole story. People should also have Enduring Powers of Attorney that allow one of the kids, or someone else, to step in and help when the ability to manage money diminishes. Without an Enduring Power of Attorney, a person in need of financial help cannot get that help without a court order that appoints a trustee.

An Enduring (aka Continuing) Power of Attorney is essential as well. Don't neglect putting this very important document into place. Keep in mind that the document is flexible enough to be tailored to an individual's needs and wishes. If at all possible, you should also try to ensure that your aging parents put these into place as well.

To read the New York Times article, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these early sign of Alzheimer's disease,It's a great help for people with this kind of illness.

    Alzheimer’s clinic

    ReplyDelete

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