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Phone: 201-345-3018

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Financial planning for Alzheimer's patients

New Jersey residents who are older sometimes end up developing Alzheimer's disease, and as the population continues to age, the number of Americans with this disease is expected to rise. Currently, more than five million people have Alzheimer's, and the rate of individuals with this disease doubles every year after the age of 65. Since this medical condition leads to decreasing memory and abilities, financial and nursing home planning are essential.

One of the major reasons that people need to undertake financial planning is because of the high cost of care. According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the average monthly cost for care at a basic assisted living facility is about $3,500, and these expenses can rise quickly with an increasing level of care. For a private room at a nursing home, it is about $7,200 per month.

To ensure that someone is taken care of, they and their family should take stock of what assets they have and plan for how they will be spent. Options include looking at retirement accounts, insurance policies with a cash value and investigating a reverse mortgage on a home. Once there is an idea of the resources available, it is recommended that a will be updated and a living will be drawn up so that someone's wishes are known and established. Additionally, a power of attorney should be assigned to a trusted individual to handle and decide financial matters.

A New Jersey lawyer experienced in long-term care planning may be able to help ensure that estate and financial planning matters are handled effectively. Such an attorney may be able to review existing planning documents and prepare new ones that may be advisable.

Source: CNBC, "Money matters: A road map for Alzheimer's patients", Sharon Epperson, September 06, 2013

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