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Diagnosed with a progressive disease -- legal planning a must

It is hard to say what the future holds. The idea of growing old with full faculties is pretty much everyone's dream. Unfortunately, there are those, here in Colorado and across the country, who may be diagnosed with a progressive disease which will require specialized legal planning for future needs.

The diagnosis of a serious illness can drastically alter the course of a person's life. The legal and financial consequences associated with an illness of this magnitude may be something most are not prepared for. If a diagnosis like this is received, a review of estate plans, including all legal and financial documents, is certainly advisable.

Alzheimer's disease is one such progressive illness that can cause people to lose a sense of self and clarity. Before this disease leaves a person incapable of making legal decisions for him or herself, preparing advance directives, living wills, durable powers of attorney and establishing final wishes are among the many steps that should be taken as soon as possible. Including family members in this planning can help ensure final wishes are carried out and help avoid arguments and hard feelings when difficult decisions arise.

Colorado residents do not have to be owned by their progressive disease. Making wishes known and planning appropriately can ensure a person's voice is heard long after the disease takes over. Assistance is available to ensure all legal bases are covered and nothing is left to chance. Taking the time to prepare all necessary legal and financial documents now will grant peace of mind for self and family members in the long-run.

Source:, "Legal and Financial Planning for People with Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet", Dec. 21, 2014

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