Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia can be overwhelming, leaving you confused as to where you should even start moving forward. Every plan of care needs a foundation, and organizing your finances and legal documents is an important first step to building an action plan, as this is key in preparing and paying for future care needs. As the disease progresses, it is best to get all affairs in order as early as possible. You may need to consult with your attorney, CPA/financial counselor, investment broker etc.
Gathering important financial and legal documents is the easiest way to assess what is needed. The more organized you are the smoother the transition will be.
Here is a list of common items to start with, but may not be all inclusive:
- Banking and credit card account numbers and passwords
- Insurance Policies (medical, auto home, long-term care, disability and life)
- Deeds, mortgage or other ownership documents
- A summary of recurring monthly bills
- All income information (Social Security, pensions, rental properties, other businesses, annuities etc)
- Make sure that the Medical Power of Attorney, Directive to Physicians and Financial Power of Attorney is in place and up to date
- Last Will and Testament – is it current?
Ask for help. A financial professional and legal counsel involved can help make sure all the documents are in place – you may not realize what is missing, or needs updating. You will need to understand the costs of care – not only in the home but in a community such as Assisted Living and/or Memory Care, such as Sundara Senior Living. Health insurance does not pay for these types of care, so you may need to explore options such as any financial assistance programs, life settlements and/or Medicaid or VA Aid and Attendance. Make sure to include your family, your physician or other key support people that may help with some of the decision making, so that everyone understands what your wishes are, so that care needs are met in the best possible way.