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Fiduciary Trust Company white paper outlines financial and estate planning considerations for families coping with Alzheimer’s


Fiduciary Trust Company has published a white paper highlighting the unique financial and estate planning challenges posed by the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

 The white paper, ”Memory Loss: Remember … to Plan” outlines the common obstacles encountered by sufferers of Alzheimer’s and their loved ones, and provides an action plan for families to ease the burden on caregivers while ensuring the wishes of those suffering from the disease are articulated.
“The reach and impact of Alzheimer’s is significant, affecting an estimated 5.3 million Americans diagnosed with the disease, as well as the more than 15 million who provide unpaid care for family members and loved ones,” said Jody King, Vice President at Fiduciary Trust Company. “While the diagnosis is distressing for all involved, it’s critical to move quickly to confront the difficult questions and both devise a comprehensive care plan and update financial and estate planning documents to reflect new circumstances.”
The action plan mapped out in the white paper covers everything from recognizing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to the considerations post-diagnosis. The paper organizes the action plan into four steps:
1. Recognise the Condition: This is critical for future planning, as sufferers in the “mild” stage of the disease still have legal capacity and the ability to articulate their desire for future care.
2. Develop a Care Plan: Care plans should identify who the caregivers will be and where the patient receives care. Families need to be aware of the toll on the primary caregiver. The care plan should also determine the accommodations needed to execute the stated plan.
3. Gather and Organise Information: To better understand the available resources, it’s recommended that families prepare an all-inclusive list of assets and liabilities, including key contacts and digital assets, for those with the disease. Financial projections can then be prepared that incorporate the costs associated with the desired care plan as well as alternate plans.
4. Review Legal Documents and Named Fiduciaries: It’s also recommended that sufferers of the disease and their families revisit their estate planning documents to update or confirm beneficiary designations, assess the standing of any revocable or irrevocable trusts, and review real estate titles and ownership as appropriate. In addition, it is important to ensure the correct individuals or fiduciaries are named in the appropriate roles.
“At Fiduciary Trust Company, our role extends far beyond financial planning and trust services. We see it as our duty to not only know our clients, but also assist them through these types of challenges as they emerge,” says Austin Shapard (pictured), CEO of Fiduciary Trust Company. “The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia is always going to be marked by uncertainty and worry. As a trustee and steward for our clients’ assets, we help families gain some level of control and ensure their loved ones can live in the moment knowing that their future has been attended to.”

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