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Previous documents do not take into account the slow loss of cognitive abilities.

The usual forms filed when someone looks at possible dementia or other disabilities only become effective when someone has reached the stage of being completely unable to handle their affairs on their own. But now new forms are available that take a different approach, according to The New York Times in “One Day Your Mind Might Fade. At Least You’ll Have a Plan.”

A doctor has come up with a new advanced directive that accounts for the different stages of dementia and cognitive decline. It lets people decide what they would want at each stage of decline.

The idea is that this approach gives people more control and helps them create a better plan for dealing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. However, not everyone is convinced that this new directive is necessary, and many believe that existing end-of-life documents are adequate.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and may include an advanced medical directive.

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