Your probate and estate situation can change at any minute. Imagine being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, for example. What happens if your Florida estate plan is not prepared with a power of attorney or health care proxy to help provide for your care? Experts say that a diagnosis of such a devastating illness — especially one that is almost certain to affect cognitive function — should be a cue to update your living will and other estate planning documents.

If you or your spouse recently received a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s or a similar disease, you may feel as though you are in denial. However, it makes sense to take quick measures not only to diagnose and treat the disease, but also to make estate plans that will accommodate your future. Alzheimer’s provi

Alzheimer’s can take a long time to fully progress, so it makes sense to start planning for your upcoming care as soon as the diagnosis is made. A long-term care policy or your accumulated savings may help pay for the initial years of care, but you must ensure that you have appropriate safeguards for later-in-life assistance. Further, it is important to take steps to protect your assets, depending on the nature of your current estate plan.

Probate attorneys may be able to help Florida residents create plans to protect more assets if Medicaid becomes necessary, for instance. In many cases, the government is able to seize assets after the death of a Medicaid patient who had been receiving long-term residential care. Legal strategies are available to help you avoid financial penalties just because of an unavoidable illness diagnosis.

Luis E. Barreto