Legal documents ensure that the wishes of the person with dementia are followed as the disease progresses. These documents make it possible for others to make decisions on behalf of the person when they no longer can do so themselves. Be mindful that laws can vary from one state to another. Below is an overview of documents needed for health care planning:
Overview of Medical Documents
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: gives a designated person the authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the person with dementia.
- Living Will: describes and instructs how and when the person wants different types of end-of-life health care
- Do Not Resuscitate Order: instructs healthcare professionals to not perform CPR in case of stopped heart or stopped breathing.
Overview of Legal and Financial Documents
- Durable Power of Attorney for Finances gives a designated person the authority to make legal and financial decisions on behalf of the person with dementia.
- Will: indicates how a person’s assets and estate will be distributed among beneficiaries after their death.
- Living Trust: gives a designated person (trustee) the authority to hold and distribute property and money for the person with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.