What did you and your husband have in place before the diagnosis?

If nothing, I would apply for guardianship at once.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sha1911

The mere diagnosis of dementia does not automatically mean that someone is non compos mentis or that he lacks testamentary capacity. It may not be too late to have your husband execute a durable power of attorney or an advance directive or even a new will or codicil. Speak with a lawyer who has experience with these matters, but do it soon.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to scrawley

You need to have a lot of short, simple conversations. Make sure he understands that you love him and will stick by him. Whatever you need to do, it is to provide the safest future for both of you. At times he will appreciate this, at other times he won't understand and will resent you "controlling" him and his finances.

For safety's sake get his name off of any large bank accounts. Assuming these are joint, you can move most of the money to new accounts in your name only. If they are in his name only you will need his cooperation to move money. Do this for all accounts that he can easily access.

Do the same for credit cards. Give him a debit card or credit card if he is still able to shop. Make sure the limit is very low ($500 max) to prevent problems and manipulation by others. Don't drop his spending limits or cancel cards until you have accounts in your name with appropriate limits. This will affect his credit score, and you don't want it to impact yours.

If he is still driving, you need to plan for an assessment or simply plan his "retirement" from driving. That is often harder to deal with than the fiscal control.

You can do most of this even before meeting with a lawyer. As others suggest, that is a necessary step. On a good day he will understand and agree to give you power of attorney for everything. On another day he may refuse.

Encourage him to trust you no matter what. Tell him that you are doing this because if something happens to him and he can't communicate (any major medical event) how would you be able to take care of the both of you? You can offer to give him the same POA if it makes him more comfortable, in the event that you cannot communicate.

Both of you need a back-up POA of course. Your back-up needs to be someone who is willing to take care of your husband if you cannot.

Many of us are dealing with this. Getting your beloved to agree to relinquish control is very hard for them. God bless you both!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to DrBenshir

Kimosabe: Unfortunately it is now too late for the principal (your husband) to authorize Power of Attorney since he would have had to be of lucid mind. See an attorney.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Llamalover47

Typically, now is too late in the game to strategize future care. But I am not a lawyer, so please please please seek help from a CERTIFIED eldercare attorney. Not just any estate planning attorney, but certified eldercare attorney. They are trained and certified to handle situations like yours. They are expensive but worth every dime.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Worriedspouse

Too late now, sorry.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Southernwaver

Well... ideally he would have needed to do that before a diagnosis. BUT, if he's in the early stages you can make an appointment with him with a certified elder law attorney (in the morning to avoid him sundowning). At that appointment the attorney will interview him privately to determine capacity and to make sure he isn't being coerced. The bar for legal capacity is pretty low, so don't make any assumptions about it that would deter you from doing this with him. FYI be sure he names a back-up PoA in case something happens to you first. It should be someone a full generation younger than both of you.

He should have a Advance Healthcare Directive and a Last Will if possible, too. Also at all his doctor and clinic offices ask for their HIPAA Medical Representative form and have him write in your name and sign it. Whenever he has the MPoA paperwork docs, his PoA should submit those to every one of his doctor and clinic offices. Don't wait for an emergency to do this.

Also set up online portals. Make sure you are joint on banking accounts. The bank will have their own PoA protocol so you'll need to bring the paperwork but they will still make you prove your identity, etc. Every bank is different.

From now on make sure to keep only a minimum amount of money in the checking, enough to pay bills. This is a stop-gap measure should he be active online and fall prey to scammers (which is very common problem, unfortunately). Keep track of the checkbook (and blanks). There's more to learn, lots from this forum.

I wish you much wisdom and peace in your heart on this journey!
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Geaton777
JuliaH May 25, 2024
Good advice! Don' forget the credit cards!
Hopefully not driving either, take the keys.
Did the two of you every do a will.\
Most wills have a "springing power of attorney" which stipulates that when two MDs believe a person no longer has executive function enough to manage his/her own affairs the named POA takes them over.

If you have no will and no POA then it is too late to do those.
You will need to get guardianship or just let this ride, as you as the spouse (unless this a second marriage and disagreeing children of the first on hand) will be the one consulted on all care.
You should see an elder law attorney now for options.
If placement is required you will need attorney to help you with division of assets and etc.

The best option for you now is (if hubby is in care) a social worker or an attorney if hubby is at home. This is not DIY at this point.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter