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  • Protecting against the effects of dementia: proactive steps to ensure that resources remain available

In the last few months, there have been significant scientific discoveries that suggest that a cure for dementia may be on the horizon. Until then, it is important to be proactive to provide protection against a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is a condition that impairs the reasoning ability of seniors. It can take the form of man y different degrees, and those suffering from dementia can go in and out of cognitive clarity.
There are financial protections that should be in place for dementia. The use of trust planning is provides great protection. A trust is a legal document that separates the ownership of assets from the management of assets. This allows a trusted friend or family member to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia. Additional signatures can be required to make withdrawals from a trust account to safeguard assets from predators.
Transferring assets into trust also allows the person with dementia to qualify for public benefits. VA Pension and nursing home Medicaid are programs that provide financial assistance for long term care. These programs have asset and income limits that must be met for qualification. Transferring of assets to qualify for programs is complex and requires the balancing of the various benefits, as well as family and tax consideration; the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney is recommended before any assets transfers are made.