Knowing The Signs Of Dementia Can Prevent Financial Disaster in Ann Arbor

Elderly Concerned Woman

There is a lot of research to inform us that as an aging parent develops dementia, their financial decision-making capacity erodes early on.  At the same time, a parent can be quite appropriate socially and appear “fine”. A case at involved a frustrated daughter with a mother like that.

Keeping track of a loved one’s state of health can be complicated, especially when dementia is the culprit. Dementia is a slow and barely perceptible decline, but knowing the signs can help head off problems ahead, particularly financial decisions that can go wrong if your loved one is in a state of decline and not aware there is a problem.

Unfortunately, decline is hard to understand. So, when is an individual in decline and when are financial decisions still safe?

A recent Forbes article titled “Aging Parents, Dementia And Financial Decisions: What Is Safe?” chronicles the story of one family and family business against the backdrop of dementia and decline.

In truth, there is no real test because dementia and financial choices simply do not avail themselves to conclusive testing. That said, it is essential that family members be steadily involved, understanding, and concerned. “Mara” in the original article is a perfect example.

Because Mara was involved, understanding and concerned, she was able to spot the “signs” of dementia before her mother lost the family business and estate due to poor decisions, increasing confusion and perhaps even those willing to take advantage of the situation. In the end, Mara not only had to spot the signs, she also had to get the help and coordination of a doctor to step in and assist.

Much stress and strain resulting from dementia later on can be preemptively eliminated by proper legal planning right now. Be sure to consult with qualified legal counsel to ensure that you, your loved ones and your assets are protected.

To speak with Terry Bertram, an estate planning attorney, visit

Reference: Forbes (June 26, 2013) “Aging Parents, Dementia And Financial Decisions: What Is Safe?

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