Glen Campbell, the Grammy Award-winning writer/performer of the hit song Rhinestone Cowboy,
is not riding off into the sunset. Despite his recent diagnosis of
Alzheimer's Disease, the 75-year-old musician intends to perform as long
as he can. He just released an album and has embarked on a farewell
tour. Campbell is just one of many celebrities who have made their
diagnosis public. What makes Campbell him unique is his plan to remain
on the public stage. He makes no apologies for his lapses, laughing when
he told a CBS interviewer that he was not sure of his age.
What is not unique is
the years of creeping symptoms that elapsed before Campbell's diagnosis.
It can be hard to make a definitive diagnosis, since most people become
a bit forgetful with age. But beyond that, most people tend to sweep
their symptoms under the rug. According to the Alzheimer's Association,
the average person has about eight years to live after symptoms become
noticeable to others. That makes early detection very important. The
earlier the diagnosis, the sooner critical medications can be
administered; the sooner patient and family can adjust; and the sooner
vital legal planning can be done.
Anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia needs to put an effective estate plan
in place without delay. If there is an existing estate plan, it should
be reviewed. If the patient has a spouse, he/she must also create or
review his own estate plan, since in all likelihood the spouse's plan
will have named the patient as Personal Representative, Trustee, Durable
Power of Attorney agent or Health Care Surrogate.
The estate plan should include:
A Durable Power of Attorney for Property, which will empower one or more persons to handle the patient's finances when he/she no longer can.
A Health Care Power of Attorney, giving someone else the right to make the individual's medical decisions.
A Living Will, specifying what kinds of life-prolonging treatments the patient wants or does not want.
A Will and.or Living Trust.
Contact our elder law/estate planning attorneys to examine your estate planning options.
Attorney Joseph S. Karp is a
Florida Bar Certified and Nationally Certified Elder Law Attorney focusing on
Elder Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs Planning
and Estate Litigation. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Karp is the
founder of The Karp Law Firm, a South Florida law firm with offices in Palm
Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach and St. Lucie, Florida. Mr. Karp was named a
2011 SuperLawyer by SuperLawyer Magazine and a member of the 2011
Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend Magazine. He is admitted to
practice law in New York as well as Florida. Visit Mr. Karp's Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning
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