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Basics of diminished capacity


Aging baby boomers make up a large percentage of the population in Minnesota. As this group of adults continues to get older, diminished mental capacity continues to increase as well. Diminished capacity in older adults can affect a person's financial decisions that can affect their estate, leading to probate litigation.

By 2060, the number of Americans who are ages 65 or over is expected to be double what it was in 2016 and will total almost a quarter of the total population. The number of people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease is expected to rise to 14 million by 2050. With these large numbers of people who will be suffering from diminished mental capacity, it is important for families to understand what this means and how it can affect a person's finances and estate.

Diminished mental capacity means that a person is lacking the ability to understand the information given to them, retain the information long enough to make a decision, consider all information to make a decision, or communicate their decision to others. Financial capacity refers to a person being able to make and exercise money management decisions with access to appropriate financial services. Many times families miss the initial signs that their loved one is suffering from diminished capacity. But, this can leave their loved one vulnerable to undue influence and exploitation.

Families who believe their loved one has diminished capacity and is concerned about financial exploitation, may want to speak with an attorney. These situations are often sensitive and emotional, but need to be addressed before the situation gets worse.

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Mason & Helmers
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