Month one- DONE! We’re in our final days of January 2024. The elder law hot topics this month include aging, a 93 year old rowing champion, decluttering, and new Alzheimer’s disease indicators.
Stories on Aging
Here at Fleming & Curti, PLC we talked about Swedish Death Cleaning. Margareta Magnusson popularized the idea in a book where she recapped how to declutter your life using the somewhat brutal question- will anyone want this after I die? After the book’s success, checklists, strategies, and decluttering videos using the method were everywhere. Our take? It’s a good idea to get rid of stuff no one wants, especially if no one wants it. Physical property can be a burden to your loved ones and it can take them a long time to go through it all. Don’t get rid of the stuff people legitimately want or the stuff that you still use, but if you’re willing to part with it and no one really wants it- it may be time to let it go. The same author came out with another book two years ago called “The Swedish Art of Ageing exuberantly: Life Wisdom from Someone who Will (probably) Die Before You.” Her tips for aging include surrounding yourself with people younger than you and embracing “kärt besvär.”
The internet was taken with Richard Morgan this month- a 93 year old four-time rowing champion. According to doctors he has the aerobic fitness of a healthy 30- or 40- year old. And, he didn’t even start a regular exercise routine until he was 73. His exercise routine is surprisingly simple. He exercises 40 minutes a day with a mix of easy, moderate and intense training and weight training two or three times per week. He also eats a high protein diet.
But remember, estate planning is not just for the super rich. CNBC says you need an estate plan, even if your means are more modest. We agree with them that having an estate plan is important and their bottom line that estate planning offers peace of mind to both you and those you leave behind. However, we don’t agree that Legal Zoom, Quicken Willmaker or any of other free estate planning tools are a good way to go. Too often those sorts of programs don’t take into consideration each unique situation. You’re better off meeting with an estate planning or elder law lawyer. If you’ve wandered onto our website you probably already knew that. You probably already have an estate plan or are thinking about getting one.
But, even if you already have one, when’s the last time you looked at your documents? Changes in the law, asset valuations and family are all reasons you should do an Estate Plan Check-Ups. We recommend checking in on your estate plans every five to seven years, or even more frequently as you age. One thing you might want to check is how your assets are titled. If you didn’t take the time to re-title assets to your trust, that trust won’t do you any good. You also might double check that the right person is named as trustee.
Alzheimer’s Disease Indicators
A new study out of the Amsterdam University Medical Center have found five biological variants of Alzheimer’s disease. Why does this matter? Well, the researchers believe that these findings could impact how Alzheimer’s medications are developed and prescribed. Different subtypes may need different treatment and this discovery may lead to accelerated intervention research. A different, but also new study published by the Lancet found that certain vision problems could be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Another early warning sign might be in our blood. A new blood test that looks for a protein called phosphorylated tau (p-tau) could be used to screen for Alzheimer’s disease before any symptoms show according to a new study.
The National Institute on Aging also talked about Alzheimer’s disease this month. They put out an article that covers twelve common myths about Alzheimer’s disease. Among the myths are that Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing, only people over the age of 70 develop Alzheimer’s disease, and that aluminum causes Alzheimer’s disease.
- Witnesses recently recounted their experiences with loved ones in long term care facilities and it seems like these facilities are falling short.
- A hard-core opera super fan, known for living modestly, died in 2021 leaving $1.7 million in savings to cultural programs and a huge collection of memorabilia to the New York Library. Interestingly, she left nothing to the Met Opera, which she frequented.
- A new IRS rule is coming down the pipes that impacts whether assets in irrevocable trusts get a step up in basis.
- An Arizona wife will honor her trekkie husband’s dream of sending his remains into space. (P.S. If you aren’t familiar, a trekkie is a Star Trek super fan)
- According to this article, DeathGPT is an AI developed to predict a person’s life course. including premature death. Is this a good thing?
- Think cremation or burial are your only options? Maybe not for long. A bill proposing legalization of human composting a/k/a “natural organic reduction” is making it’s way through the Arizona Legislature.