Getting diagnosed with a progressive disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s can feel like your whole world is crumbling. Most people in Manassas, Virginia, fear losing the ability to make life decisions. They also worry about what will happen to their family if they reach a point of incapacitation.
If you already have an estate plan, there are only a few things to do after a dementia diagnosis. Typically, this involves looking over your documents and adjusting your provisions to account for the possible loss of mental capacity. However, if you do not have a plan, estate planning should be high on your list of priorities.
Retaining control over your life
Detecting dementia early in its progression allows you to tailor your estate plan around the effects of the illness. The documents listed below have a place in everyone’s estate plan, but they are especially critical for those with dementia or an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. They can help you retain some control over your life in spite of your illness:
- A DNR order: With this document, you can specify when and when not to receive life-prolonging interventions if your heart or breathing stops.
- A living will: In this type of will, you may detail the healthcare treatments you want and do not want as you near the end of your life.
- A durable medical power of attorney: If dementia begins to affect your capacity to make sound decisions, this document allows your designated agent to make medical decisions on your behalf.
It is also wise to begin discussing your diagnosis and your end-of-life wishes with your family to ensure that everyone remains on the same page. Learning more about estate planning and the stages of dementia can also help you make well-informed decisions.