The elder law attorneys here at our firm go the extra mile to provide information about matters that may impact senior citizens. Unfortunately, some of the eventualities that can present themselves are not particularly pleasant, but it is wise to prepare yourself as you hope for the best.
Aging of the Population
To fully understand the big picture, you have to take a step back and evaluate the different stages of life. If you are fortunate enough to put your working years behind you when you are in your 60s or even younger, you can enjoy your spare time to the utmost. Most people would expect to be fully capable from a physical perspective when they are in this mature age group.
Without question, the active retirement years can be fun and rewarding, but life goes on and the years pass. You may be surprised to hear that the life expectancy for a 67-year-old person is between 85 and 87 years depending on the gender. Once you attain octogenarian status, your ability to do things for yourself can change considerably.
The Widespread Nature of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a looming threat that can enter the picture as you get up there in years. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it strikes one person in the United States every 65 seconds. One out of every 10 seniors has contracted the disease, and the figure swells to 40% for people that are 85 years of age and older.
About two thirds of the people that have Alzheimer’s disease are women, and it is particularly common among African-American and Hispanic Americans. Since the population is aging so rapidly, it is estimated that almost 14 million seniors will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.
Elder Law Implications
Clearly, the impact that this disease has on the patients and their families is considerable, and there are also legal and financial implications. Since Alzheimer’s causes dementia, people with the disease will typically become unable to handle their own financial affairs at some point in time.
You could account for this possibility if you use a revocable living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan. As the grantor of the trust, you would act as the trustee while you are living, and you could name a disability trustee to assume the role in the event of your incapacity.
A durable power of attorney for property would be another legal instrument that can be used to name someone to act as your financial representative if it ever becomes necessary. For medical decision-making, you could add a durable power of attorney for health care.
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease eventually require a level of care that can only be received in a nursing home with a memory care component. These facilities are extremely expensive, with many of them charging six figures for a yearlong stay.
Medicare does not pay for nursing home care, so this gap in the coverage is financially significant. There are strategies that can be implemented to take advantage of other government programs that can assist with these costs. This is a matter that you can discuss with an elder law attorney from our firm if you would like to schedule a consultation.
Attend a Free Seminar!
Since you have found your way to this blog, you must be looking for sound information about important elder law and estate planning topics. There is a great deal of it available right here, and we invite you to explore the site and take advantage of any written resources that interest you.
In addition to this avenue, we frequently get out into the community holding estate planning and elder law seminars at convenient locations. You can walk away with a great deal of knowledge under your belt if you attend one of these sessions, and there is no admission charge.
We do ask that you register in advance so that we can reserve your seat. You can see the schedule and obtain registration details if you take a moment to visit our seminar page.