Leading estate planning attorney Guy B. Garner, Senior Attorney at Haiman Hogue PLLC in Arlington, TX reveals that living trusts can be an excellent way to give people peace of mind in their later years. For more information please visit https://www.haimanhogue.com
— As more people begin to live to an older age, the potential for more to suffer from the debilitating effects of dementia increases dramatically. However, a living trust could be an excellent way to help people enjoy their later years, Texas' senior attorney Guy B. Garner has disclosed.
For more information please visit https://www.haimanhogue.com
Garner of the Arlington based Haiman Hogue, PLLC, firm revealed the importance of estate planning for a couple, especially if one partner is suspected to have, or has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
"In my experience, it is advisable for the couple to have a well thought out and professionally drafted plan built around a living trust, as the healthy spouse will then have powers of attorney to ensure that correct financial and healthcare decisions are taken for their loved one, as well as other authorities contained within a properly drafted trust that allows the continual care for the incapacitated spouse."
While the ideal time to plan is before any illness is diagnosed, a living trust might still be able to be prepared if their spouse has dementia.
"Many assets can be placed in this trust, and it allows for the healthy spouse to take control of assets and keep everything functioning normally. This means that as the spouse with dementia declines, they will not be taken advantage of or misappropriate assets," Garner asserted.
As dementia renders sufferers unable to understand financial documents, their assets, or even recognize their family members, a living trust is an excellent counterpoint to help their spouse manage the environment within which they exist.
Garner added that living trusts also allow room for further planning. "If the healthy spouse falls ill or passes away, with a trust, a successor trustee can be appointed to take over the trust's management."
While a living trust is highly recommended, he said that if one has not been put in place, then an updating your will, powers of attorney and healthcare directives is essential.
Garner commented: "A will that reflects your most recent wishes will ensure your assets land in the right hands. If you don't have a will, the state will decide what happens to your assets after death.”
"A financial power of attorney and advanced healthcare directives allow you to choose a person to make financial and medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so for yourself."
He added: "If there is a spouse with dementia who could fall prey to predatory behavior, this can easily be avoided by setting up an irrevocable trust. This will protect your spouse while they’re ill and their assets after you both have passed on."
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