Family History Of Alzheimer’s? 5 Things To Consider… Before It’s Too Late: Part 4

Family History Of Alzheimer's? 5 Things To Consider... Before It's Too Late

Part 4

By: Keith Maderer and Chelsea Maderer

Alzheimer’s and Dementia are terrible diseases that can rob individuals of their independence, mobility and memories. If you have a family history or are already experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s … you should consider these 5 items. Take action now and find the solution… before it is too late.

Here are the 5 parts in this series:

Part 1: Open the Conversation

Part 2: Create A Memory Gift

Part 3: Letters of Instruction

Part 4: Important Documentation

Part 5: Remember… You’re Only Human


4. Important Documentation

It is crucial to have the necessary important documents in place as we age. It becomes even more important if you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other neurological condition. Important documents that need your attention are a Document and Asset Location Form, proper Beneficiary Designation Forms, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney and a Last Will & Testament.


Document and Asset Location Form


What is it?

This form identifies the specific location of your important documents and assets that may be pivotal to an individual’s financial, estate and medical well-being. This form becomes significantly more important in the event of Alzheimer’s or the passing of a loved one.

Why is it important?

This form can save time, headaches and drama. Knowing where all assets and important documents are located is crucial once you are unable to remember and especially after you are gone. I have seen situations where important documents were lost, thrown out or simply not found. This can create arguments, drama and unwanted legal and court costs if settling the estate requires lawyer intervention. This easy to fill out form can prevent many of these headaches.

For someone with Alzheimer’s this is even more important. As your memory fades, it may become harder to remember where important documents have been placed.


Beneficiary Designation Forms


What is it?

These forms can be obtained directly from banks, brokerages, and insurance companies that you work with. They effectively appoint an individual or individuals to receive the proceeds upon your death. These contractual arrangements supersede your will and in most cases, bypass probate administration.

Why is it important?

This is one way to avoid probate. Probate is the legal process of proving the will. Because designated beneficiary forms need to be filled out and signed by the account owner themselves, this allows the transfer of assets efficiently and effectively without the costs associated with probate. These forms are also extremely easy to fill out. They can have both primary and contingent beneficiaries that can be assigned a certain percentage of the total assets as you desire. File these and make sure to note where they are located on the Document and Asset Location Form.

While they are revocable at any time, if you take care of these before Alzheimer’s diminishes your capacity, there may be no need to change in the event your condition worsens.


Health Care Proxy or Directive


What is it?

A Health Care Proxy or Directive is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions for you in the event that you lose the ability to do so yourself. This document is required by most hospitals and nursing homes before they will perform surgeries or other medical procedures.

Why is it important?

As we age, the need for medical care generally increases. Even with healthy individuals, accidents, injuries, and chronic conditions can jeopardize your health. It is extremely important to have a trusted family member or friend that is familiar with your wishes relating to healthcare. They will become your intermediary with medical professionals in the event that you are unable or unwilling to communicate on your own behalf.

This person should be selected carefully. They should be level headed, have your best interest in mind, but not overly emotional.

This is even more important if you have Alzheimer’s. Making decisions can be extremely difficult once your condition worsens. It is much easier to have it in place and readily available if and when it is needed.


Power Of Attorney


What is it?

The Power of Attorney provides a designated individual to be appointed to legally act on your behalf in any specific legal or financial matters.

Why is it important?

If you are no longer able or willing to make sound financial decisions, this form is needed to allow your trusted individual to help out and step in. Just as the Health Care Proxy is important for you overall health, this is important for your financial and legal health.

For those with Alzheimer’s and gradually diminishing mental sharpness, having someone help and monitor your decisions is extremely beneficial. It may become imperative moving forward if your condition continues to worsen. Their intervention could save you from making costly financial mistakes.

Last Will & Testament


What is it?

A Last Will & Testament is a document that overseas the distribution of your assets when you are gone. You can appoint the executors to administer the will and decide how and when your assets should be distributed.

Why is it important?

In the event that your assets are not already being distributed via ownership arrangements or contractual designated beneficiary plans, then your Last Will & Testament will provide details about how the remaining assets should be handled.

Having a Last Will & Testament is important to provide a catch-all document to address anything that you may not have previously handled in a better fashion.

Each of the previous forms will help ensure that your wishes will be considered and reviewed in the event something happens to you.

Each should be revisited periodically and kept current. Keep in mind that the effects of Alzheimer’s or Dementia can diminish your ability to make decisions and properly plan. By having them in place now, you can avoid the stress and struggle of executing them when needed or when you are not thinking clearly.



If you are concerned about Alzheimer’s or are already experiencing the early stages, we can help. As part of our mission to help successful seniors live better lives, we want to provide a complementary copy of our Alzheimer’s Financial Survival Guide. To get your copy or learn more, click the button below.



About the Authors


Keith Maderer has been a Financial, Investment and Tax professional in the Buffalo-Niagara region for over 30 years. He helps individuals and families to Clarify their needs and goals, Solve their problems, and Simplify their life to avoid the common pitfalls that get in the way of enjoying life and retirement.

He is an author, an entertaining and humorous speaker that enjoys captivating audiences with stories, anecdotes, and messages that inspire and motivate others to achieve their goals.

He has been married for over 30 years and has 5 adult children which contributes to his great sense of humor. For more information please visit:, or or visit his Amazon Author Page.


Chelsea Maderer is a Financial, Investment and Tax Advisor in the Buffalo-WNY region. She helps individuals and families to Clarify their needs and goals, Solve their problems, and Simplify their life to avoid the common mistakes that get in the way of enjoying life and retirement.

For more information please visit:

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