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Can a Person With Alzheimer’s Change Their Will?

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A senior man signing his will as her wife watches over.

If you’re the child of someone with Alzheimer’s, understanding where your parent stands when it comes to end-of-life affairs can be a complicated and confusing process. One crucial question for many children in this situation is whether their parent with Alzheimer’s can change their will while dealing with dementia and memory loss. 

Yes, a person with Alzheimer’s can change their will, provided that they meet the criteria of lucidity and show signs of understanding what they are signing. However, if they fail to meet the mental testing standards, they should not alter their will.

We understand that looking into this topic may bring up feelings of anxiousness or grief; you are not alone. To make things easier, we put together some key information and resources about how wills are administered if a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so you can feel more prepared as you explore these issues in greater detail.

What Is a Will & How Does It Work When Someone Has Alzheimer’s

A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets should be distributed after their death. However, when someone has Alzheimer’s, creating a will can become a bit more complicated. They may not have the capacity to fully understand the decisions they are making or be able to remember exactly what they want to include in their will.

It is vital to work with a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who has experience with Alzheimer’s cases to ensure that the will is legally valid and reflects the person’s wishes to the best of their ability. 

It is also essential to regularly review and update the will to reflect any changes in the person’s situation or needs. By planning ahead, families can alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty that often comes with end-of-life decisions.

What Legal Rights Do People With Alzheimer’s Have in Regard to Their Will

As we all know, creating a will is an essential task that should not be overlooked. For people living with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia, this responsibility can become much more complex. It’s crucial to understand the legal rights of those with Alzheimer’s when it comes to their will. 

They may still have the legal capacity to create or change a will. However, as Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease, it’s crucial to act promptly and seek legal advice to verify that the will accurately reflects their wishes while they still have the ability to do so. As caregivers and loved ones, it’s our responsibility to support and guide our family members through this process.

When Is It Appropriate to Make Changes to a Will If the Person Has Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Making changes to a will can be a sensitive and emotional topic, and it can be even more challenging when the person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. If the individual has the mental capacity to make changes, it’s important to consider their desires and wishes. However, if their condition has progressed to the point where they can no longer make informed decisions, it may be necessary to seek legal advice on the appropriate steps to take. 

Ultimately, the goal is to make sure that the person’s final wishes are respected and that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. It’s essential to approach this process with empathy and compassion, keeping in mind the emotional toll it may take on both the individual and their loved ones.

Who Can Help in Making Decisions About Changing or Updating a Will for Someone With Alzheimer’s

A lawyer giving legal advice to a client.

Making decisions regarding changing or updating a will for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a daunting task. It’s essential to have the support of trusted professionals who can provide you with the guidance and sensitivity that you need. 

One person to turn to is a qualified and experienced attorney who specializes in elder law. They can provide you with legal advice regarding the changes you may want to make in the will and help with the necessary paperwork. 

You may also want to consult a financial advisor, especially if your loved one’s financial situation has changed. It’s essential to have the knowledge and reassurance that you’re making the right decisions and acting in your loved one’s best interests. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and there are resources available to support you through this process.

How Can You Make Sure That Changes Are Valid & Legally Binding, Even If the Person Has Cognitive Decline

If you are dealing with changes that involve a person with cognitive decline, there are steps you can take to ensure that they are valid and legally binding. First and foremost, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the person’s mental state and level of comprehension. It may be helpful to have a medical professional assess the person’s cognitive abilities to ensure they fully understand the changes being made. 

Additionally, having an experienced attorney who specializes in elder law review the changes and oversee the signing process can help ensure their validity and legal binding. It’s essential to approach these changes with empathy and understanding, as the person may feel overwhelmed or anxious about the process. 

Taking the time to explain the changes thoroughly and allowing them to ask questions can help ease any fears they may have. By taking these steps, you can help that any changes made are legally valid and provide peace of mind for all parties involved.

What Resources Are Available for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Who Need Help Navigating the Process of Making Changes to an Existing Will

As a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you may be facing the task of navigating the legal process of making changes to their existing will. While this can seem overwhelming, there are resources available to help guide you through this process. Many local organizations and support groups offer valuable information and assistance to caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. 

Additionally, legal professionals with specific expertise in elder law and estate planning can provide invaluable guidance and support to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are being met. Remember that you are not alone, and there is help available to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

The Next Steps

It can often be confusing and challenging for caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s to make sure that their will is up to date and legally valid. Understanding the legal rights of someone with Alzheimer’s when it comes to making modifications to a will will make sure that all aspects are covered, even if the person is no longer able to understand or remember the changes. 

Protecting the estate of those living with Alzheimer’s will help provide peace of mind today and security in the future. So start exploring what resources are available now. Contact Tylers Mill Senior Living for resources and see what we can do for you. Book a tour today!

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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