Customized Solutions For Your Legal Problems
Exterior of the Office Building of Bloodworth, Crowley & Leverett

Can a person with a memory disease write a will?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | ESTATE PLANNING - Wills

When a family member is diagnosed with a memory disease like dementia, the matter of how their estate should be handled can get complicated. But there are steps you can take to ensure their wishes are respected, even as the disease progresses. It begins with approaching estate planning from a more deliberate and careful angle.

Timing is crucial

While the ideal scenario is for your family member to create their will while they still have mental capacity, a memory disease diagnosis shouldn’t prevent them from doing so. A doctor’s evaluation in Georgia can confirm mental competency for legal purposes. This allows your loved one to participate in the will’s creation, even if their memory is starting to decline.

Why it matters

A will is a legal document outlining how you want your assets distributed after you pass away. It allows your loved one with memory loss to decide who inherits their belongings while they still have a better grip on their rationale, minimizing confusion and potential conflict within the family later.

Considerations for memory loss

You may consider approaching the will creation process with your loved one diagnosed with a memory disease in mind:

  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment: A medical evaluation will establish your family member’s mental capacity and ensure the will is legally sound.
  • Choose a trustworthy attorney: An experienced estate planner can guide you through the legalities and ensure that the will reflects your loved one’s wishes.
  • Name a trusted executor: This person will be responsible for carrying out the terms of the will. Choose someone reliable and organized, ideally someone familiar with your loved one’s financial situation You also have the option to name a backup person in case the primary executor cannot serve.

Beyond the will, consider creating a power of attorney for finances and healthcare. These documents designate someone you trust to make financial and medical decisions on your loved one’s behalf when they can no longer do so themselves.

Having these conversations and creating legal documents can be emotionally challenging, but it can be a gift to your loved one and family. It provides peace of mind, knowing their wishes will be honored and avoids potential conflicts.