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Planning for incapacity should be a part of every estate plan

Florida has an aging population. Memory loss is one area in particular where older people can have substantial difficulties. A variety of forms of dementia are common amongst older people, and they can strip a person of many of their cognitive abilities, including their memory. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as much as 50 percent of the population will experience some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease by the time they reach the age of 85.

When a person experiences memory loss, it can start to impact all aspects of their life, including their ability to manage their own finances. Nobody likes to think about these kinds of unpleasant things, but planning for the possibility of dementia and memory loss can help to ensure that a person's wishes are carried out.

Through estate planning, a person can give a trusted friend or family member a power of attorney to make financial decisions should the aging person become mentally unable to do so. Likewise, a health proxy allows a loved one to make health care decisions on the person's behalf if the person becomes incapacitated.

Getting older comes with many joys in life, but it also can involve some difficulties. By putting together a thorough estate plan, a person can stay a step ahead of some of the pitfalls of aging, like memory loss. This aspect of estate planning is important for the aging person, but it can also help to reduce family disputes down the road amongst family members who are caring for an aging loved one.

Source: CNBC, "How to deal with memory loss and finances," Ilana Polyak, Accessed on Feb. 9, 2016

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