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I only learned after my father's passing that his physician thought he had dementia and now this has caused a dispute within the family because he made changes.

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Actually doctors can not write down anything as a cause & manner of death. There are hierarchies supplied by the World Health Organization to standardize this reporting. Saying "heart stopped beating" is not a valid cause of death. Cause of death is a medical opinion. Manner of death is statement of fact (natural, accident, homicide, suicide). Every cause-of-death statement is coded and tabulated in the the International Classification of Diseases.
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I didn't find out until after my father passed that during one of his hospitalizations, a Hospitalist had charted in his notes that my father had dementia. My father was really hard of hearing and probably just smiled and nodded and the doctor decided he was confused. I found it frustrating when I would pass on his hearing disability and most staff would talk to him in a normal tone. My father would miss a lot of what was being said and grew tired of asking people to repeat themselves.
I'm curious if your father had any hearing loss?
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When my mother was diagnosed. She was tested by a Geriatrician. But, legally in Massachusetts a physician who is Neuro/Psych. Is the only doctor who can diagnose dementia/ Alzheimer's. There is testing he also will do to make the determination/final diagnosis. I was with my mother when she was tested.
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Physician probably was not even THINKING ahead to family and will concerns.

Physician was probably thinking the dementia was obvoius and everyone knew it so did not "tell" you.

Yes, this may mean inappropriate changes to a will could be contested, but by itself might not "prove" he was not competent or within his rights to do it. All the circumstances of the situation would have to be considered.
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Every state's laws regarding capacity and competency are different. Medical providers are held to confidentiality unless your father has been determined to not have capacity and you are next in line for Medical Power of Attorneywith activation occurring or your father has completed HIPAA to allow them to tell the persons listed. Advice-contact he medical provider with friendly approach that indicates you are concerned and want to help. They can educate you about where your father is in the process, etc. Good Luck
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I am looking into someone to be a caretaker with my husband who has FTD. I have a concern about the caretaker stealing. I can not take him to a day care as their hours are not the hours I work which would be preferable. I have heard stealing is bad in nursing homes. Anyone else have this concern or have problems with stealing? He is needing in home care sometime soon I am afraid.
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A Dr. can state anything as a cause of death. The Dr. probably didn’t know your Dad well. Dementia is used as a “generic” term. The same thing happened with my Dad
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You can have some degree of dementia and still be competent.
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Did he perhaps write r/o dementia. Ie rule out dementia. Not the same thing
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A person is competent until two physicians certify to a Judge that he is not. If you cannot sort out what is fair, a Judge will do it for you in court. Until that happens, the Executor has to follow what is written down.
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