I have just received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease; can I still do my Estate Planning?

You may still be able to do your Estate Planning after receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The California probate code sets forth guidelines regarding the capacity that you must have to create a Trust, Will, Power of Attorney, or Advance Health Care Directive.

Our attorneys can meet with you and will ask questions to document your capacity and/or work with you and your doctor to obtain medical documentation of your current capacity to assure that your Estate Plan is effective, should you lose capacity. We will counsel you to choose the proper people to act as your trustee and agents. You will have the opportunity to nominate the person(s) that you would want the court to appoint in the event that you ever need a Conservatorship.

My loved one has Alzheimer’s disease. She is no longer able to handle her finances or make medical decisions. What should I do?

Your next step will depend upon the Estate Planning that your loved one put in place, while they had capacity. If your loved one has a Trust, Power of Attorney for financial matters, and an Advance Health Care Directive, the trustee and agents designated in those documents may be able to take over their respective roles by following the terms of the documents. Our attorneys can go over these documents with you and assist you to understand and act upon them. We can assist you with a trust administration and advise you in your fiduciary duties as a trustee, or as an agent under a Power of Attorney or Advance Health Care Directive.

I am the agent under my father’s Advance Health Care Directive. His doctor has recommended that he go to a “secured perimeter facility,” because of his wandering at night. I have been unable to find a facility that will allow me to place my father even though I have the doctor’s order and am the agent under his advance health care directive. What can I do?

Under California law, to place your father in a “secured perimeter facility” you will need a conservatorship, even though you have an Advance Health Care Directive that gives you authority to make his living arrangements. We can assist you in obtaining a Conservatorship.