A Dementia Diagnosis’s Impact On Estate Planning 

Estate planning happens throughout your life. Your plan should reflect the significant changes in your life. For example, when a person goes through a divorce, they should update their plans. Their former spouse probably played an essential role in it. In addition to being a beneficiary, the former spouse was likely the designed person to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you were ever incapacitated. 

Divorce is one example of a change in circumstances that requires you to update your estate plan. We are looking at whether someone receiving a dementia diagnosis equates to a modification in your estate plan. This question may arise in any context where someone discovers they will need Medicaid in the immediate future. Does your estate plan now need to be modified so the person with dementia will be eligible for Medicaid?

Your estate plan may not need to be changed to become eligible for Medicaid. That said, there could be several other reasons why you should. Here’s one reason:

Example: Your attorney successfully assists your spouse (who has dementia) to become eligible for Medicaid. However, you predecease your spouse and pass away first. The surviving spouse would likely inherit a significant amount of your assets. Upon receiving them, the surviving spouse with dementia may become disqualified for Medicaid. 

These are the scenarios that great estate planning attorneys can resolve before they occur. Meet with your attorney after the dementia diagnosis. They may give you peace of mind by explaining that your spouse is eligible for Medicaid without changing your estate plan. But they may suggest altering your current plan to account for ways in which eligibility can be jeopardized. Overall, we never want your or your spouse to be in a position where you have to choose between your loved one’s assets or maintaining your Medicaid eligibility. Our goal is to provide you with the legal means to do both. 

No one can predict the future, but your attorney can protect you from a wide range of possibilities and outcomes. No matter what happens, a solid and reliable estate plan covers you.

Family First Firm 

Anyone who has assets owns it to themselves and their loved ones to create an estate plan. At the Family First Firm, we can prepare you and your estate to face an uncertain future with confidence. For more information about how our firm can help you and your family, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our established estate planning attorneys. 

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