According to the Alzheimer’s Association of Hawaii, there are more than 28,000 people living in Hawaii with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 66,000 loved ones caring for them.
Dealing with a parent’s diagnosis of dementia can be overwhelming for many families, but there are steps you can (and should) take to ensure their affairs will be handled properly:
Step 1. Discuss the diagnosis
Discuss the diagnosis with your siblings or other close family members. It is important not to try to handle everything on your own.
Step 2. Review with your parent
Review with your parent which advisors (accountants, attorneys, stockbrokers, financial planners) are handling each aspect of their affairs.
Step 3. Execute an Advance Health Care Directive and HIPAA Release
Be sure your parent has executed an advance health care directive and a HIPAA release form so that you can have access to their medical records and consult with their medical caregivers.
Step 4. Do not wait
Don't wait — Alzheimer’s disease can and does progress at drastically different rates for different people. Delay can make it much more difficult to deal with.
Step 5. Talk to an estate planning attorney
Talk to an estate planning attorney to ensure your parent’s legal paperwork is in order before it becomes too late and your parent is no longer competent to execute legal documents. Find out if your parent has put protections in place via a will, trust, durable power of attorney, advance health care directive, etc.
Step 6. Meet with Your Parent's Advisors
Set up meetings with your parent’s advisors to review the status of tax planning and payment, investments, care of assets, the status of regular bills and health matters.
Step 7. Divvy up responsibilities
Share responsibilities with siblings or other family members.
Whatever you do, do not rely on the Court system to help you become guardian or conservator of your parent. There have been nightmare instances when children didn’t have a trusted advisor on their side, got the court involved and ended up losing all of their parents’ assets to a system that is unnecessary.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
DISCLAIMER: All information available at this website are for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney directly regarding your specific situation. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC and any users or any other party.