No one wants to think about living with Alzheimer’s. Sadly, a growing number of people and their families have no choice but to make big shifts in their lives, as they cope with the incremental losses associated with the disease. Experts offer advice about ensuring plans, understandings and help are in place as early on in the process as possible.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 6 million Americans 65 and older living with the disease now. By 2025, as the baby boom generation continues to age, it is estimated that Alzheimer’s will impact 7.1 million adults. Although it is understandably difficult to confront the possibility of having Alzheimer’s experts advice recognizing the signs, pursuing the possibility of medications—and, perhaps most importantly, advance planning with family members and loved ones.
Organizing support, and making decisions about care and funds while we are still relatively clear thinking and independent ensures that our preferences and hopes can be addressed by those who care about us—and will become responsible for us. Collins Law Group offers this proactive planning advice for individuals and families confronting a challenging future.
If you do develop Alzheimer’s, there will likely come a time when you are no longer able to make decisions nor manage your assets. By planning for that eventuality now, you can decide who will take over for you by using any of several incapacity planning tools, such as:
Revocable Living Trust – this allows you to create a trust and name yourself as the Trustee
along with someone of your choosing as the successor Trustee. Major assets are transferred
into the trust and managed by you if you are able to do so. In the event of your incapacity, your
chosen successor Trustee takes over automatically and without the need for any additional legal steps to be taken.
Healthcare Power of Attorney – this is a type of advance directive that allows you to appoint an
Agent who will have the legal authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself due to incapacity.
Living Will – another type of advance directive that lets you make important decisions regarding certain types of medical treatment now in the event you are unable to provide informed consent at a later date.
Trustees and Trustee Bonds?
When creating a trust, you (the grantor) name a trustee to administer the assets in accordance with the plans specified in the trust agreement. It is possible to name oneself as a trustee, along with a successor trustee. When families choose trustees and successor trustees, they typically designate a loved one or friend to serve as the trustee. An independent fiduciary is also an option. Keep in mind that the trustee role is not a ceremonial one. All trustees are fiduciaries: they are legally bound to the highest duty of care in executing their responsibilities. In fact, given the significant duties undertaken by trustees, the trust agreement may require procurement of a trustee bond.
A trustee bond is a type of fiduciary bond that protects the interests of the trust and beneficiaries by guaranteeing the faithful performance of a trustee in accordance with the law. As a leading national provider of many types of fiduciary bonds, Colonial Surety makes it easy and efficient to obtain a trustee bond. Just get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. The bond can be printed or e-filed from anywhere.
Too Much—and Not Enough?
As we live longer and more complex lives, income and assets, though modest, can turn out to exceed eligibility guidelines for public support. The cost of care, whether at home or in a facility, adds up. For some families, establishing an irrevocable trust can be beneficial, as Kiplinger explains:
Disabled beneficiaries on Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income have stringent income and asset limitations — if they own or receive too much money they can lose these government benefits. Irrevocable trusts can shelter income and assets, so these limits are not exceeded. The Trustee of these “Medicaid trusts” can never be the Creator. Just like estate tax savings trusts, the Beneficiary has been divested of substantial control over the trust, so the government benefits continue to be provided, because the trust funds are not included as the Beneficiary’s own assets and income.
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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a direct writer of surety bonds and insurance products. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA.