If your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, this can be devastating. Right now, however, they are likely still functioning well and are not having a lot of memory problems yet. Before they cannot function well, you need to take steps now to ensure your parent has their affairs in order. As their illness progresses, they will not be able to sign documents or even tell you of things you need to know, such as who gains their assets and health care decisions they would make. Below is information about two things you should start with to ensure things go as smoothly as possible for you and your parent.
Your parent should create a living trust as soon as possible. Your parent will be known as the grantor. A living trust is so important as your parent chooses what they desire when it comes to their heirs, assets, and dependents. A living trust takes into effect when the grantor can no longer make decisions on their own.
Your parent will have to choose a trustee, such as yourself, to take over these responsibilities for them when needed. Your parent will also have to choose beneficiaries for the living trust. Your parent will choose what goes to each beneficiary, if there is more than one, such as with your parent's assets.
A living trust can save your family a lot of money, as you will not have to go to probate court to determine all this information for you when your parent passes away.
Health Care Advance Directive
Your parent needs to have a health care directive in place. This advance directive records the decisions your parent would make when it comes to their medication treatment. For example, it also shows what your parent will want if they become permanently unconscious. For example, they may be put on life support. In a case like this, your parent can record how long they would like to be on life support. If they do not, you and your family members would have to decide this, and this could easily lead to an argument. If so, a judge would then decide this for you.
Your parent can choose to sign a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR), which instructs their doctor if they should perform CPR if your parent's heart stops beating or if they stop breathing. If your parent chooses a DNR, their doctor will have to sign it for it to be approved.
Because this information is so important, you should hire an attorney to help you, such as a living trust attorney. This will ensure everything is done correctly so you will not have problems.
For more information, get in touch with a company such as Rudolph and Chonoles LLP.