If your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, there are some important things they need to do sooner rather than later, such as getting legal documents in order. It is important that they do this now because waiting too long could mean your parent doesn't understand these documents, and they would not be able to get them. To help you, below are two legal documents to start with.

Living Trust

A living trust is a way for your parent to leave directions on how their assets will be disbursed after they pass away. A living trust is beneficial as it can save you and your family a lot of time if someone does not agree with what they receive. This document will hold up in court, and your family members will have no claim to probate. Setting up a living trust will also keep your parent's assets away from people he or she do not want to have them, including creditors via lawsuits or bankruptcies.

There are different types of living trusts available. One type is a revocable trust, which is flexible as your parent can amend the trust whenever they want. They can also revoke the trust at any time.

Another type is an irrevocable trust, which is more structured, as it cannot be changed in any way and also cannot be revoked. Creditors cannot access any assets that are listed in an irrevocable trust.

Power of Attorney

As your parent progresses in this disease, he or she will no longer be able to make sound financial decisions. Because of this, your parent needs to set up a power of attorney now. In this document, your parent will list a person to have complete power over their financial decisions.

If your parent were to go to a bank and ask for a loan, the person listed on the power of attorney would be notified first. This is beneficial as it can be hard to tell whether your parent will know what they are doing. 

When you sign a power of attorney you must do so under two witnesses. Once signed, you must have the document notarized. Your parent can give you the right to use the power of attorney immediately, or they may ask you to only start using it once they are no longer able to make sound decisions.

For more information, talk with an attorney who specializes in living trusts and power of attorney documents, such as Rudolph and Chonoles LLP.