Gene Wilder, the star of many movies including Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, recently died at the age of 83 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. It has been reported that he kept his illness hidden from many people for at least three years. Not surprisingly, experts say this is quite common and potentially risky.
According to recent article in Crain’s Wealth (“What Gene Wilder’s death can teach you about estate planning”), due to the increase risks for financial abuse, it is recommended that seniors take steps to protect their finances before there are changes in their behavior and attitude due to Alzheimer’s or other debilitating diseases. This of course should include a durable power of attorney. Also, it may be advisable to designate a trusted contact with their advisor who is permitted to discuss private information if they start to exhibit cognitive difficulties.