ALZHEIMER’S DEMENTIA AND GUARDIANSHIPS: WHEN IS A GUARDIANSHIP NECESSARY?

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If a family member comes down with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, should you bring a guardianship proceeding on their behalf? In many situations, individuals who develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia have sufficient mental capabilities to take care of themselves. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the early stages may only result in problems of short-term forgetfulness. These individuals may still be capable of handling a large majority of their personal and financial affairs. They may not require a guardianship to help them. However, in the second and third stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, individuals lose a significant amount of their ability to take care of their financial issues and maintain themselves. They may forget about taking medication related to pending illness and problems. They may forget to pay their electric and heating bills, which can result in their home being in dark or without heal.

GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDING

Guardianship proceedings can be expensive. A properly drafted power of attorney in many situations can be used to help the senior to deal with personal as well as financial issues. This may eliminate the need for the appointment of a guardian. The senior should also have a will and health care proxy.

NURSING HOMES

Individuals who develop Alzheimer’s and dementia ill eventually require nursing home care. Nursing homes can cost between twelve and fourteen thousand dollars a month. Estate planning can accomplish preserving an individual’s assets and not having them eaten up by the nursing home when he or she finds it necessary to be cared for in a nursing home.

WHO CAN BRING A GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDING?

NY Attorney Elliot Schlissel

The following is a list of individuals who can bring a guardianship proceeding:

  1. A loved one of the individual such as a spouse or child;
  2. The executor or administrator of the estate unless the individual is the beneficiary;
  3. The individual himself or herself;
  4. The trustee of a trust, unless the individual has an interest in it;
  5. A person representing the nursing home in which the individual is staying at;
  6. A welfare agency or Department of Social Services agency.
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