A diagnosis of
Alzheimer's disease or another
dementia often raises some important legal and
financial issues for the future. The person with dementia should be involved in
these decisions as long as he or she is able and willing to be involved.
Obtain professional legal advice as soon as
possible. Early in the course of the disease, the person with dementia may be
capable of participating in legal and financial planning.
Provincial and local bar associations will be able
to provide the names of attorneys practicing in your area who deal with these
For certain types of legal advice, contact your provincial Legal Aid service or your provincial Alzheimer Society for more information.
As soon as possible after the condition is diagnosed, talk about writing down health care decisions (advance care plan) and assigning someone to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia when they are no longer able (substitute decision-maker). This will ensure that the person's wishes for medical care, especially life-sustaining treatment, are in writing.
Locate documents necessary to
assess the legal and financial affairs of the person. These include wills and
trusts, prior tax returns, health and life insurance policies, pension
information, deeds, mortgages, bank accounts, and information on other
Review the ownership of the person's
property. Discuss with your attorney the implications of transferring