When it comes to living with Alzheimer’s disease, we can’t stress enough the importance of choosing decision-makers who can act for you when you are unable to do so. But how do you choose those decision-makers? After all, there will undoubtedly be countless decisions to make when it comes to your financial and medical affairs or even guardianship of your children. And some people may be better suited for those roles than others.
We help answer those questions in the simplest way possible. You’re not limited to just family and friends or only one decision-maker for everything. You have options, and choosing your decision-makers now will save you and your family time and heartache later.
Decision-makers: Choosing a family member or friend
It is often the case that a family member (spouse, child, or sibling) or a close friend is the easiest direction to go when trying to choose your decision-makers for life events. These are people who know you the best, and there is a unique level of trust there. But not all family members or friends are created equal.
Here are some questions to consider when picking which family member or friend is the best choice:
- Are you comfortable confiding in that person about decisions they’ll need to make on your behalf?
- Does this person have the right character qualities and temperament?
- Does he or she have the life experiences that make him or her suitable for the decision-making role?
- Will this person keep other family members informed on the decisions they are making?
- Are multiple family members good choices to be decision-makers (read on to learn more about this)?
- Do you specify a professional adviser for the family member or friend to consult with?
Decision-makers: Choosing a professional decision-maker
Believe it or not, there are many advantages to choosing a professional decision-maker rather than a family member or trusted friend. When we say professional, we mean bank trust offices, accountants, financial advisers, or even attorneys. You could also consider clergy, aging life care managers, trust officers, or professional guardianship/representative payee agencies. It sounds strange initially, but this could be a wise choice in certain life circumstances, especially if:
- Your family members are in conflict
- You don’t have any family members or friends who have earned that level of trust
- You have a large and/or complicated estate
- A professional is already more familiar with your financial or health care wishes
A few drawbacks to consider when choosing a professional decision-maker is that there are typically fees involved. Also, some professional decision-makers are not trained to make decisions on health care.
Decision-makers: Choosing multiple decision-makers
Most people living with Alzheimer’s would prefer not breaking up decision-making duties among several people. But as we’ve said before, everyone’s situation is different. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider multiple decision-makers to handle your affairs:
- Your children get along, and group decisions can be made easily
- You want multiple children always to be aware of decisions
- You do not want to burden one child with that much responsibility
Contact Leigh Hilton PLLC today!
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is a challenge that no one is prepared for. But I encourage you to think about choosing decision-makers as an opportunity, not a task. Accepting it is the first step and could set you and your family up for an easier road as you continue on your journey.
Our goal was to build a practice with a team of professionals who work together to have your back at all times — whether that means putting steps in place to protect you and your loved ones or offering practical advice.
Leigh Hilton PLLC wants to be your first call every time for any estate planning or elder law need. Call us today!