You have recently realized that you’ve been having more trouble with your memory. You have called your children by the wrong names and sometimes forgotten that you had to feed your pet or even that you have one at all. This is a terrifying thing to notice in yourself, so you went to the doctor immediately. 

There, you received a diagnosis that you never expected: You have the early signs of dementia. Dementia is a kind of umbrella term for many kinds of diseases that cause the loss of your memory and other mental functions. It’s a progressive disease, so you know that it may advance quickly and make it necessary for you to rely on others for care. 

Now is the time to talk to your attorney about your long-term care and estate plan

If you believe that you may need long-term care in the future and want to make sure your wishes are carried out once you can no longer care for yourself, then you should speak with your attorney while you’re still able to do so clearly. Depending on how quickly this disease progresses, you may have only a short time before it could be argued that you were not well enough to understand your legal rights or what you’ve chosen to do with your estate. 

When you speak with your attorney about making an estate plan, you may want to include a document from your medical provider that states that you’re still capable of making decisions for yourself. That way, what you do and the plans you make can be upheld in court based on the opinion of a medical professional should there be anyone who contests your wishes.