Frederick M. Okamura
Attorney At Law

Memory Problems

 If your loved one is experiencing significant memory problems, the Alzheimer's Association Helpline provides information, referrals, and support, including: assistance with problem solving difficult behaviors, caregiver stress concerns, support groups, education classes, and research.

Power of Attorney:

Depending upon the severity of your loved one's symptoms, it may be possible for them to execute a Power of Attorney so that family members or close friends can assist them in managing their affairs. The Power of Attorney has been a standard estate planning tool for quite some time and if your loved one has a will or trust you may first want to check their important papers for an already existing Power of Attorney document.

However, if your loved one is experiencing persistent or severe memory problems they may not have the capacity to execute a Power of Attorney and it may be necessary to seek court intervention to obtain a guardianship and/or conservatorship to assist with their care.

Guardianship and Conservatorship:

If you are considering that you may be called upon to act as a Guardian for a loved one, please review the Duties of a Guardian document to familiarize yourself with what will be required of you. Oftentimes, you may also be required to manage the financial affairs of your loved one as well. You may wish to review the Duties of a Conservator document for an overview of your responsibilities as a conservator as well.

Trust:

A trust may also be relied upon to manage the affairs of your loved one, however the trust document must be reviewed carefully to ensure that a new trustee is properly appointed, that proper notice is given to qualified beneficiaries, and that the new trustee is counseled about their new responsibilities and potential liability. Significant changes took place in 2006, with the enactment of the Oregon Uniform Trust Code, and the instructions provided by the attorney who drafted your loved one's trust prior to that date should not be relied upon today. It is also important to note also that the trust will only be useful if it is properly funded. In other words, a power of attorney or conservatorship may still be required in some circumstances, even if one has a trust, because the trustee only has authority over assets that have been transferred to the trust.

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