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Sean Connery's Dementia And What It Means For You

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney I like to keep up with the planning decisions and effects that are reported about celebrities. Recently, Sean Connery passed away at the age of 90. Shortly after his death, his longtime spouse disclosed that in his final months he suffered from dementia.

The most current statistics that I could find indicate that around five million adults in America currently suffer from dementia in one form or another. That is about 6% of the adult population aged 50 and older. That may not seem like much until you put it this way. Imagine that you are 50 or older and you are in a room with 20 other people. The statistics show that one of you in this room is currently suffering from dementia. Additionally, another three of you will suffer from dementia before your death.

The good news is that you can get your estate-planning done. You see, estate planning is not only the way that you give away your money, property, and other assets after you die. In addition to this important function, estate planning is also the way for you to protect yourself while you are alive if you need help for any reason, including dementia.

Your durable power of attorney, your living will, and your power of attorney for health care are all documents designed to provide certain protections to you and for you while you are alive. These protections include having someone to help you with all of your finances, your property, helping you make healthcare decisions, and giving you the ability to leave specific healthcare instructions to your medical care providers if you are in the hospital on life support.

With these documents, you are in complete control. You have the ability to appoint who you want to have help you if you need it. Additionally, if that person is unable to help you you can name a successor who can step in. Finally, you have the ability to leave specific instructions to these individuals about what you do and don't want them to help you do.

Without these documents, your family would be forced to do a guardianship and conservatorship hearing through the courts. This means that expensive court proceedings have to occur in order for someone to have the legal authority to help you. Additionally, anyone can throw their hat in the ring saying they believe they are the best person to take care of you and your money. If your family doesn't agree on who should be appointed, it could result in a fight between two or more family members who think they are best suited for the appointment. This could lead to a family fight and two additional legal expenses. More importantly, it could lead to the appointment of an individual that you yourself would never have chosen. This person would then have the legal authority to take over your money, property, and other assets even if you do not want them to.

Estate planning, at its core, is about giving you the ability to stay in control of your own life while you are alive. Additionally, it's designed to give you the ability to give away your money, property, and other assets to whoever you want after you die.

If you have concerns about your own estate plan, we encourage you to download our free Estate Planning Questionnaire. This provides the very best way to pull together the information you need and should be thinking about what it comes to your own estate plan. We then encourage you to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us where we can't answer your questions and help you understand all of your estate planning options.

We have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans, and we are confident that we can help you too. Call us today!

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

If you have any questions about your estate or how to simplify your plans for your family and loved ones, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at lane@racineolson.com. We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello estate planning problems. I have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans and I'm confident that I can help you too.

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