Most people are forgetful from time to time. However, when you noticed your parent calling you by the wrong name, forgetting important events and generally not seeming like him or herself, you began to feel concerned, mainly because your parent had reached his or her elderly years. Thankfully, your parent agreed to undergo a medical examination and received an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
While this outcome was certainly not the one you or your parent wanted, doctors caught the signs in enough time for your parent to still have the mental capacity to make critical decisions. Now, you both feel it is time to get important matters in order.
Essential estate planning documents
This type of medical diagnosis can spur many feelings and the need for action. You and your parent may both need some time to come to terms with the situation, but you both also know that getting your parent’s affairs in order now is vital. Some estate planning documents that could prove invaluable in making sure your parent’s wishes are known include the following:
- Power of attorney documents that put someone in charge of financial decisions and health care decisions should your parent no longer be able to make sound choices
- A living will that details what type of care your parent wants under certain conditions, such as whether to remain on life support, whether he or she wants to be resuscitated, and much more
- A will that details who your parent wants to act as executor of his or her estate and who your parent wants to receive assets from the estate
Of course, if your parent wishes to have a more comprehensive plan, using other documents may be useful as well. The beauty of estate planning is that numerous options exist for creating a plan that addresses each individual’s specific needs. On the other hand, having so many options can make some people feel overwhelmed. Luckily, estate planning is not a process that you or your parent has to go through alone.
While you may feel more than ready to help your parent through the planning process, you may not have all the answers or know how to find the right answers. Fortunately, experienced New Jersey attorneys can help you and your parent go over the available options and determine which tools could prove most beneficial.