Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Dementia refers to several symptoms including memory loss, foggy thinking, and a decline in problem-solving abilities. Several conditions that can result in dementia include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s Disease

While it can be frightening to think of a time when dementia impacts your ability to make a decision, if you fail to plan for the future, there is a risk that you might end up placing your estate at risk. Unfortunately, after dementia reaches a point where you are unable to control your assets, you will no longer be able to alter your estate plan. 

In these situations, the only options that your family has to file for guardianship. To help reduce the risk that you make an estate planning error, this article reviews three lessons learned from how the estates of celebrities with Alzheimer’s were administered.

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell first admitted to the public that he had Alzheimer’s in 2011. When Campbell later passed away in 2017, he left eight children and a widow. Even though several of Campbell’s children sued over the administration of the estate, it was later determined that Campbell’s estate planning documents were valid because he had written them several years before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

The lesson to be learned from Glen Campbell is that by writing your estate planning documents now, you can make sure that your estate plan is found valid in case you are later diagnosed with dementia.

Peter Falk

The late Falk appeared in many television shows and movies. In 2011, Falk passed away after living for several years with Alzheimer’s. Before Falk passed, however, a dispute arose between Falk’s wife and adopted daughter regarding who should make decisions for the incapacitated. 

While Falk’s wife was ultimately awarded conservatorship, this story serves as an example of why it is important to avoid ambiguity in your estate plan. By being clear about your wishes, you can avoid any disputes down the road about who should play what role in your estate plan. 

Gene Wilder

Best remembered for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2016. Wilder’s widow and his adopted daughter did not fight over the administration of Wilder’s estate because Wilder practiced good estate planning. 

The ease with which Wilder’s estate was administered should serve as a reminder that if the proper estate planning documents are written, end of life issues for someone with Alzheimer’s can be handled with relative ease.

Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today

The estate planning process can be challenging, but one of the best ways to reduce the number of obstacles you encounter is to plan adequately. To make sure that your estate plan achieves your goals, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. 

Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free case evaluation.