Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible condition that can rob a person of their mental functions. It is a degenerative disease, which means it gets worse over time, but the speed at which it progresses can vary.
If you have a loved one with this condition, you may wonder how that would impact his or her will. According to the National Institute on Aging, the person’s mental state at the time of signing the will is the most important factor as to the validity of the document.
If your loved one is in the early stages of the disease, he or she may still be able to sign a will that will be valid. The early stages generally only result in some memory loss and minor confusion. As long as your loved one understands the document and the implications, he or she can legally create it.
If possible, have a medical professional sign off that the person is mentally capable, and to draw up the will with a legal representative. This may help validate the will should someone contest it.
As the disease progresses, it will be more difficult to create a legally valid will. Your loved one may be unable to understand the document, or grasp the meaning of it. In this case, he or she would would not have the capacity create or execute a legally binding document.
The best thing to do when a loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is to discuss having their capacity to create and/or execute a will with their physician. This will help to avoid any potential family and legal issues later on.