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Alzheimer’s disease spotlighted in the estate planning realm

November is closely linked with many notable things each year. The month spells winter’s onset for real in many parts of the country. People start counting down the remaining days of the year and begin to focus closely on year-end holidays and family get-togethers. And, of course, Thanksgiving is a central asterisk on the calendar.

November also provides an annual spotlight on an additional topic, namely, the ravaging scourge of Alzheimer’s disease. That ailment reportedly afflicts five million or more Americans who live with its steadily debilitating and mind-robbing symptoms.

President Ronald Reagan designated November as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month back in 1983. Ironically, of course, he himself was eventually diagnosed with the diseases and died from it.

Alzheimer’s rightly features as uppercase subject matter in the estate planning realm. The disease brings with it a ready propensity for engendering confusion and family conflict owing to uncertainty regarding a planner’s true desires.

A recent Forbes article duly notes that. It underscores that key estate documents like wills and trusts that are executed or modified following a grantor’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis “are much more likely to be challenged in court.”

And successfully so, especially in cases involving divorce/remarriage, children from different partners and various configurations of many possible blended families. The Forbes contributor highlights several estate battles featuring high-profile celebrities to emphasize the point of “how important proper estate planning is – before it’s too late.”

Readers of our blogs at the Bay Area estate planning Law Offices of Connie Yi might reasonably find some of the related Forbes’ tales to be illuminating and instructive.

Many extraneous – and often unanticipated – factors can intervene in life to make estate planning more complicated and challenging than originally anticipated. It is the job of a proven planning attorney to timely work with clients and their families in ensuring that well-considered goals and values are identified and set forth with clarity and related legal force.

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