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Aging with Alzheimer’s: Protecting Your Finances

One in eight American families will be affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  As this disease progresses, it takes a toll on everyone involved and can fuel a lot of anxiety about the future.  If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is important to understand that you are at a greater risk of becoming a target of financial elder abuse.  Unfortunately, statistics show that the perpetrators who are most likely to target you, are the people you know and trust.

While it is difficult to even remotely consider that someone you trust could be trying to take advantage of you while you are in a vulnerable state, avoiding the issue will only put you at further risk of being victimized.

Increasing your awareness about some of the most common forms of financial elder abuse is a good first line of defence.  Being aware of these potential threats will help you to stay in control of your finances even as your disease progresses and your appointed decision-makers get involved.

It is very important to keep a clear line of communication with the individuals you have appointed to assist with the management of your finances and for you to be clear about the way you want your assets to be used.  Encourage each member of your family or trusted care team to voice their opinions about your finances but ensure that all decisions are ultimately motivated by protecting your own well-being.  During this emotional time, if you become worried that your closest family or friends will experience caregiver burnout, arrange to have some of your assets set aside for respite care relief.

Your best protection against financial elder abuse is to bring any of your concerns to your trusted estate planning attorney.  Alert your legal counsel to any problems that you anticipate will arise once your estate is settled.  Your attorney will be able to provide you with ideas on how to protect you and your estate.  This is a common situation for estate planning lawyers so do not be concerned or embarrassed about bringing up these issues.

Remember, everyone involved in your care will need to be flexible and prioritize your needs.  They will need to be willing to work as a team and build relationships so that your well-being is ensured.  Establishing a trusted, well-informed team will significantly reduce the likelihood that you will become a victim of financial elder abuse.

If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we can help.  Our proactive estate planning lawyers in Pittsburgh will help you to plan for the future and to be prepared for potential financial elder abuse.

To discuss your specific needs and to find out how we at Fingeret Law can help you, please call us at 412-254-8533 or contact us online.