Every day, more than 10,000 Americans reach the age of 65. Unfortunately, quantity of years does not necessarily equate to qualify of life. In fact, the golden years may turn out to be not so golden. As the size of the over-65 population continues to increase, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias will increase. Currently, there are more than 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease. By 2050, that number is expected to triple.
Thus, if you have been waiting for the "right" time do take care of your estate planning, perhaps you should move that up on your list. A certain level of capacity is necessary in order to sign estate planning documents. Once you no longer have the requisite capacity, you will not be able to complete your estate plan. So, the question becomes: can someone living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia legally sign these documents? Well, the answer is that it depends. While a diagnosis of dementia may indicate some level of diminished capacity, it does not necessarily mean that person cannot sign legal documents such as a will, trust, or power of attorney.
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