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image003.jpgMike Wallace died recently at the age of 93, and according a New York Times interview with his son, Wallace suffered from dementia in his last few years. It is estimated that one in eight Americans will suffer from some form of dementia after the age of 65; an Orange County estate planning attorney recommends taking the following steps to help protect your assets in case you become incapacitated:

Assemble team of elder care experts – this can include an elder law and/or estate planning attorney, a financial planner, a CPA, etc. A team of trusted advisors is essential to help you plan for how your assets will be managed and how decisions will be made about your care in case of incapacity.

Establish advance directives – advance directives – including a living will, financial power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, etc. – provide for the seamless transfer of decision-making abilities for your care.

Have a long-term plan – the time to create a long-term plan is before you need it. People with dementia can live for many years, and the cost to maintain a good quality of life can be a heavy financial burden for a family. A long-term plan may include funding a long-term care insurance policy, or strategies for spending down assets to qualify for state or federal assistance programs.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.