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Legal & Financial Matters

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Financial Planning 

Our RDS Canada members do share stories about the financial impact of a diagnosis of dementia at a younger age. The sudden impact of a loss of income, the costs involved in getting a diagnosis, not understanding what financial supports may be available (e.g., provincial benefits) or the longer term impact of care costs can feel overwhelming. We present them here recognizing that for some people these recommendations have already been addressed. We also encourage you to discuss these matters with your family or a close friend.

What financial and/or legal matters should you think about and/or plan for?

Financial planning – Many Canadians consult with a financial planner through their bank or privately from young adulthood. Many others speak openly and frankly with family or friends about how to prepare for an unexpected event or older age. If you have these relationships in place, then this is a good place to start a discussion about your immediate and longer term concerns or planning for the future.

Disability benefits - The other information you need is what benefits and/or tax credits (e.g., sick leave, disability benefits) you may be eligible for.  A first step for many will be to consult your employer, usually your Human Resources Office.  You can also review Disability benefits -

Will and Estate Planning – You are not legally required to have a will in Canada, but it makes good sense to have this planning in place. Please note that laws around estate planning are governed by individual provinces and territories. For assistance with planning your will and estate representative (executor), ideally you should consult with a legal professional or public trustee.

Power of Attorney – Many people as they age will appoint a power of attorney to give someone the power to manage your property and finances on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so. You should consult with a legal professional to make these arrangements. A good resource for Canadians on powers of attorney can be found here: What every older Canadian should know about: Powers of attorney (for financial matters and property) and joint bank accounts -


Many members tell us it is beneficial to think about financial and legal affairs as soon as possible. Some people encounter difficulties in trying to make arrangements further down the line when it is less clear whether they have the mental capacity to do so (this refers to your ability to make your own decisions based on your understanding, communication and ability to remember the decision). Therefore, we would always recommend making arrangements before your mental capacity can be called into question. Organizing your financial and legal affairs also allows you to have peace of mind that all issues can be dealt with in the way you have chosen.

You may wish to consider the following issues:

  • Arrange bills to be paid by direct debit and benefits to be paid directly into the bank accounts
  • Consider joint bank accounts
  • Seek advice from a lawyer or financial advisor if needed
  • Make sure you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled
  • Make a will
  • Consider arranging a Power of Attorney