That is a very good question to be asking now, especially if Alzheimer's is in your family genetics.
As it has been said, you can't fool the gene pool.
Even if you do not have a family history that includes Alzheimer's, more families may be facing it as life expectancies continue to lengthen.
None other than The Wall Street Journal took up this timely topic in an article titled "Voices: Consider Trusteed IRAs for Clients With Alzheimer's."
According to the article, if you receive an Alzheimer's diagnosis, then this should prompt frank and open discussions with your loved ones.
So appropriate personal, financial and legal plans can be made today, if you are unable to make them tomorrow.
While the conversation will not be easy, consider discussing (and documenting) such things as where you will want to receive care, who will manage your finances, how to care for your spouse, and how your estate will be administered and ultimately distributed.
Many folks receiving an Alzheimer's diagnosis do not want to become financial or practical burdens on their families.
If this sounds like you (or someone you know), then contact an estate planning attorney to help organize and designate your assets without delay.
As the WSJ article notes, one option to consider in this mix is known as a Trusteed IRA.
Unlike a traditional individual retirement account, this arrangement provides the groundwork for a third party to assume fiduciary responsibility over your IRA when needed.
That trusteed fiduciary can grant your request for future purchases and bill payments.
Down the road, in the context of estate planning, a Trusteed IRA permits you to better manage your funds for heirs by designating a "limited distribution schedule" and a succession of beneficiaries.
In other words, the trusteed fiduciary will ensure that only "minimum required distributions" are taken for your beneficiaries, unless genuine needs for such things as health, education, maintenance and support are established.
To put it bluntly, a Trusteed IRA can help ensure that your children or grandchildren who inherit your IRA will not squander it overnight on vacations and consumer purchases. In addition, after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Clark v. Rameker, this arrangement can protect your IRA from their potential divorces, lawsuits and bankruptcies.
After all, you know the value of a dollar ... let alone the hard work and thrift it took to earn that dollar.
Knowing that your IRA will be protected by a third party fiduciary can provide great peace of mind, regardless what the future holds for you and your loved ones.
Contact an experienced estate planning attorney today to explore your options to preserve and protect all of your assets.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Wall Street Journal (April 18, 2016) "Voices: Consider Trusteed IRAs for Clients With Alzheimer's"