By Estate Planning Attorney Rick Law of Law Elder Law, LLP in Aurora, Illinois.
As we age, often times it is difficult for families to remain close. Not just emotionally, but geographically as well.
One of the more profound observations I have made when diagnosing a loved one’s dementia is this — if family members live far away, some of the first people likely to notice these signs of dementia are the person’s own advisors—their doctor, lawyer, or financial planner.
Unfortunately, these advisors often do not always have the ability to take action. Doctors and lawyers are bound by patient or client privilege, and even if they want to inform the family of their suspicions, they may not be able to do so.
While there may be action that an attorney can take to protect a client, there needs to be a reasonable belief that the client has become incapacitated and is in danger.
The American Medical Association is also sensitive to this issue, and has guidelines for dealing with patients who show signs of incapacity.
Unfortunately, doctors are under pressure to spend minimal amounts of time with patients. Many people are able to “fake it” during a short interview by doctors, lawyers, or financial advisors.
Elder Law attorneys may be able to help provide guidance when there is memory loss and assistance is required but is being refused. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, and the memory loss will eventually rise to the level that the afflicted individual is no longer safe living alone.
If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100 or 630-585-5200. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.