When you find out that you have early onset dementia, it makes complete sense to turn to estate planning for help making sure your wishes are known in the future. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease largely affect those over the age of 65, but there are times when early onset versions of these illnesses take place in people as young as 30.
Since the illness comes on much sooner than expected, getting a diagnosis can be difficult. That’s why it is very important to seek medical care if you start seeing unusual symptoms crop up. At the same time, you may want to look into estate planning, so you can plan for your care if you are ill and to make sure others know what you expect if you cannot make your own decisions or pass away.
Make your plans while you have legal capacity
One of the problems with these conditions is that they can impact your ability to understand the information you’re given and to make decisions. Before you can make any changes to your estate, it’s important that you do have a medical examination to determine if you still retain legal capacity. Over time, your capacity to make decisions may change, and that’s something that you can address in your estate plan if you take care of it now.
Which documents should you add to your estate plan?
At this time, it’s most important to add your living will and power of attorney documents to your estate plan. If you have children, you may want to set up a guardianship or open trusts to pass on assets to them, too.
It’s in your best interests to make adjustments to your estate plan that make sure that you will be treated in the way you want if you can no longer make those health care decisions on your own. You should take steps to protect your finances and to set up your Do Not Resuscitate order or other medical wishes.
You may have a difficult diagnosis, but estate planning can help take at least some of the pressure off your shoulders while you focus on your health.