The majority of Michigan residents understand the importance of having a will so there is no question what happens to assets once the writer of the will passes away. These days, the aging population needs to consider a more complicated financial plan, and this is one that deals with the potential of developing Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. It is a condition that is becoming more common and it is important for family members to discuss some of the difficult topics surrounding it.

According to FindLaw, it can be challenging to make health-related, legal and financial decisions once the person is in late-stage Alzheimer’s so it is important to begin having the discussion even before a diagnosis is made. If an individual has been diagnosed but is still mentally competent, a durable power of attorney is a good option. Once the individual is no longer competent, a legal guardianship would be named if there is no power of attorney.

Along with making sure there is a will, family members should consider things such as the ability to perform tasks in the future and what assistance will be needed. They should also discuss and plan for costs of future care. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, care costs may include:

  • Part- or full-time residential care services
  • Medical treatment for Alzheimer’s and other medical conditions
  • In-home care services
  • Adult day services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Home safety modifications
  • Medical equipment

Financial resources that families may want to consider include Medicare, veterans benefits, long-term care insurance, community support services and disability insurance. These are on top of what the patient may have in regard to assets, retirement benefits and social security.