Planning for loved ones with dementia – An elder law perspective

Elderly woman touching face of young female nurse

With statistics showing that over 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it’s important for us all to take the necessary steps and plan for this possibility. Not only do dementia patients lose the ability to work and support themselves financially, they also require care that can become very expensive in later stages – around $60,000 per year. Fortunately, there are ways to plan for your loved one. Here’s some legal advice from an experienced elder law attorney in New Jersey.

  • Start early: Dementia-related diseases progress to confusion and difficulty coping mentally with daily tasks, so it’s important that your planning starts as early as possible – even before there are any signs of the disease. This makes it easier to get your loved one’s wishes clearly documented and understood by themselves, their spouse and family.
  • Speak to an elder law specialist: Elder law attorneys specialize in assisting families and elderly loved ones with comprehensive legal and financial planning, and will be able to develop the best possible plan for your loved one’s future care while protecting his or her rights. They will be able to introduce you to new options you may not have thought of, and walk you through every step and issue so that you can make an informed decision.
  • Review, update or create Advanced Directives: These are some of the most important documents for your loved one to have, as they ensure that someone responsible is put in charge of medical and healthcare decisions when your loved one is no longer able to do so themselves. This may also mean updating documents where your loved one has this responsibility for another person, for example, their spouse, as they will no longer be able to perform this role.
  • Review, update or create Financial Power of Attorney: This document will allow a responsible person to take on financial decisions for your loved one when they are no longer able to do so themselves.
  • Long term care financial planning: Your lawyer can evaluate any insurance policies, help you access benefits and plan for Medicaid eligibility, if needed. They can also assist you by drawing up a Last Will and Testament, creating a trust if needed and develop a plan for long term care affordability.

Let a compassionate NJ elder law attorney provide legal assistance 

Frank R. Campisano has over 30 years of experience in New Jersey elder law. With his expertise and compassion, we can help your loved one grow older with dignity, in comfort and with proper peace of mind.

In addition to sound elder law financial planning advice, you can also prepare additional estate planning documents, such as your Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney documents, medical directives and trusts. For a free consultation, please contact us today and visit our website at

How to ensure that the inheritance you leave is responsibly spent

elder law trusts nj

It’s often said that the one fact about money is that you can’t take it with you. Fortunately, you can still use it to care for your loved ones and dependents after you’re gone. One of the biggest issues that many of us face when planning how our beneficiaries will inherit is how to ensure that this money isn’t squandered. Here are some tips from a leading estate planning attorney in New Jersey.

  • Give while you’re alive: One idea that’s gaining in popularity is to give your dependents a portion of their inheritance while you’re alive. This way, you can enjoy the results as well as help see that the money is used productively. Your grandchild might want to attend a great college but not be able to afford it, you might have a child who is getting married and would like to afford a home, or you might have a dependent needing money to start up a great business venture.
  • Installments: In 2017, you can gift up to $14,000 per year of your money to as many people as you like, tax-free. If you are married, you and your spouse can bring this up to $28,000. This is a great way to see how your dependents are able to handle their money, and feels like a safer route for parents who are worried about what a large lump sum inheritance will do to their children. It’s also a great way to teach your children and grandchildren about handling money, their different spending and investment options, and the consequences attached to them.
  • Incentive trusts: For many parents, a big worry is that having access to a large amount of money will negatively affect the future of their children, from robbing them of the drive to achieve in life, to making them vulnerable to scams and wasteful living. Incentive trusts are an alternative here to the usual type of inheritance that rewards achievements and goals with financial assets from the trust. These rules are completely up to you, but popular choices include rewarding a dependent an annual amount equal to their earnings, or bonuses for passing specific qualifications. They can also be drafted in such a way to support children who turn their ambition to supporting charities and non-profits.

Expert estate planning advice from your NJ attorney 

If you would like further guidance on how to manage the distribution of your assets, create a trust or draw up a Last Will and Testament, Frank R. Campisano can provide you with the necessary expert legal advice and professional insight.

In addition, he can also assist you with all other aspects of your estate plan, from drawing up medical directives to Power of Attorney documents. For more information on setting up or changing an estate plan, please contact him at the law firm of Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC in New Jersey or visit our website at


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