An elderly person who is doing their estate planning or updating an existing plan needs to have the mental capacity to do so correctly. Unfortunately, for many who suffer from degenerative diseases as they grow older, they may lack this capacity. This can lead to serious errors in an estate plan and may eventually lead to a dispute.
One of the most common issues that people suffer from in this fashion is dementia. It can impact everything from social abilities to cognitive abilities to memory. How do you know if your elderly loved one has the condition or if it is getting worse? Look for these signs:
- They cannot remember things, even simple things that they should be able to, and it seems to be getting worse.
- While talking, they often struggle to come up with the right word at the right time.
- They begin demonstrating inappropriate behavior, perhaps as if they are unsure how to act in a particular social setting.
- They seem very confused all of the time, which can lead to related issues like depression and anxiety.
- They start to make mistakes while doing common tasks, such as getting lost while driving home from the grocery store.
- They forget people’s names or look blankly at people that they should know very well, as if perhaps meeting them for the first time.
By no means are these all of the possible signs, and it may be important to get an official diagnosis from a doctor. If dementia or any other cognitive issue leads to estate planning questions or even an inheritance dispute, those involved must look into their legal options.