Dementia is not really a disease in the classical sense. There is no healthy one minute, then sick the next progression. No, dementia is just a slow and barely perceptible decline. Unfortunately, decline is hard to understand. So, when is an individual in decline and when are financial decisions still safe? A recent Forbes article titled “Aging Parents, Dementia And Financial Decisions: What Is Safe?” chronicles the story of one family and family business against the backdrop of dementia and decline. In truth, there is no real test because dementia and financial choices simply do not avail themselves to conclusive testing. That said, it is essential that family members be steadily involved, understanding, and concerned. “Mara” in the original article is a perfect example. Because Mara was involved, understanding and concerned, she was able to spot the “signs” of dementia before her mother lost the family business and estate due to poor decisions, increasing confusion and perhaps even those willing to take advantage of the situation. In the end, Mara not only had to spot the signs, she also had to get the help and coordination of a doctor to step in and assist. Much stress and strain resulting from dementia later on can be preemptively eliminated by proper legal planning right now. Be sure to consult with qualified legal counsel to ensure that you, your loved ones and your assets are protected.
Reference: Forbes (June 26, 2013) “Aging Parents, Dementia And Financial Decisions: What Is Safe?”
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