Grandparents with dementia holding babies

How Does Dementia Pertain to Estate Planning?

In Estate Planning, Guardianships, How Do You Choose an Executor of a Will? by casalmoreno

What Causes Dementia?

As if that question were not scary enough, the answer is even more terrifying. Everything from stress to injuries is a possible trigger for the disease eventually leading to the Alzheimer’s disease.   NFL players are at the highest level of physical fitness, yet there has been an explosion of cases of early onset dementia in some of the sport’s peak performers. Doctor’s attribute this early onset to head trauma but the actual root of the issue is unknown. Many of these players will eventually end up in a guardianship because they lack the proper documentation to avoid a judicial incompetency proceeding. They never would have imagined the constant blows to the head or even the overwhelming stress of the game would lead to their deterioration. Men of herculean stature who have accomplished great feats in the sport are approaching their 50s and unable to remember any of it.  They rely on their wives or family to support them but at some point judicial intervention is necessary to make certain medical or financial decisions.

Although many of us are not taking constant head trauma on a day-to-day basis we do deal with the stress that comes with daily living, and that can lead to dementia.  Not knowing exactly what is the root cause of this very sad disease makes us all even more susceptible. If you own a business or real estate and you are suddenly unable to manage them, those assets fall under a guardianship proceeding. Not only do you have a judge running your business but that same judge is also ruling over thousands of other guardianship cases.  A lifetime of work can crumble solely because of the time and legal fees involved in running a business through a guardianship.

Lebron James recently made a statement stating that he would not allow his children to play football at such an early age due to the risk of head injury. Although his safety towards his children is commendable, there is no real protection from the risk of dementia. The best precaution is to make sure you plan for the future with the proper estate planning documents.  If you are unable to act for yourself you want to ensure your assets and your business will continue to function allowing you to be taken care of, even if you cannot do it yourself.