Can Bad Thoughts Bring on Dementia?

There is recent research that has shown a link between repeated patterns of repetitive negative thinking (RNT) and signs of dementia. This study suggests a link between the key signs of dementia, the buildup of proteins in the brain and cognitive decline, and RNT.

Medical News Today reported in its recent article entitled “Link between dementia and repetitive negative thinking identified” that this study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. The study set forth the foundation for future research to consider how the link may function, and if psychological therapies that treat RNT can inhibit Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The CDC explains that dementia is a term that represents a variety of diseases characterized by cognitive decline, which includes trouble remembering, thinking or making decisions that adversely affect a person’s everyday life.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This is a degenerative disease, which means it worsens over time. It’s not yet known exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease. The CDC says that there are likely several factors involved. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s.

Prior research has suggested that psychological factors, like depression and anxiety, may also have a connection to Alzheimer’s. This has led researchers to develop the concept of cognitive debt as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, which they believe is acquired by RNT. A large part of RNT are processes of rumination — repeatedly thinking about the past — and worry, being concerned about the future.

The research examined the participants’ RNT, depression, anxiety and cognitive decline levels for up to four years. They also measured the levels of tau and amyloid proteins in the brains of 113 of the participants. Scientists think that the buildup of these structures is key to the development of Alzheimer’s.

The authors of the new research discovered that the higher a person’s RNT, the faster their cognitive decline. They also found these people were more likely to have significant deposits of tau and amyloid proteins. However, although the research found a link between depression and anxiety and cognitive decline, they did not find a connection between depression and anxiety and the buildup of tau and amyloid proteins.

According to the lead author of the study Dr. Natalie Marchant of University College, London, United Kingdom, “[d]epression and anxiety in mid-life and old age are already known to be risk factors for dementia. Here, we found that certain thinking patterns implicated in depression and anxiety could be an underlying reason why people with those disorders are more likely to develop dementia.

“Taken alongside other studies that link depression and anxiety with dementia risk, we expect that chronic negative thinking patterns over a long period of time could increase the risk of dementia. We do not think the evidence suggests that short-term setbacks would increase one’s risk of dementia.

“We hope that our findings could be used to develop strategies to lower people’s risk of dementia, by helping them to reduce their negative thinking patterns.”

The study’s authors say that it’s probable that RNT contributes to Alzheimer’s in some way, possibly elevating an individual’s stress levels. However, they couldn’t discount the possibility that early signs of Alzheimer’s could lead to RNT.

Reference:  Medical News Today (June 11, 2020) “Link between dementia and repetitive negative thinking identified”

 

Continue Reading

How Can You Disinherit Someone or protect against the in-laws and Be Sure it Sticks?

Let’s say you want to leave everything you own to your children, but you can’t stand and don’t trust their spouses. That might make you want to delay making an estate plan, because it’s a hard thing to come to terms with, says a recent article “Dealing with disinheritance, spouses” from the Times Herald-Record. There are options, but make the right choice, or your estate could face challenges.

Some people choose to leave nothing at all for their child in the will, so that if there is a divorce or if the child dies, their assets won’t end up in the daughter or son-in-law’s pocket. For some parents, particularly those who are estranged from their children, this can create more problems than it solves.

Disinheriting a child with a will is not always a good idea. If you die with assets in your name only, they go through the court proceeding called probate, when the will is used to guide asset distribution. The law requires that all children, even disinherited ones, are notified that you have died, and that probate is going to occur. The disinherited child can object to the provisions in the will, which can lead to a will contest. Most families engaged in litigation over a will become estranged—even those that weren’t beforehand. The cost of litigation will also take a bite out of the value of your estate.

A common tactic is to leave a small amount of money to the disinherited child in the will and add a no-contest clause in the will. The no-contest clause expressly states that anyone who contests the will loses any right to their inheritance. Here is the problem: the disgruntled child may still object, despite the no contest clause, and invalidate the will by claiming undue influence or incapacity or that the will was not executed properly. If their claims are valid, then they’ll have great satisfaction of undoing your planning.

How can you disinherit a child, and be sure that your plan is going to stand up to challenge?

A trust is better in this case than a will. Not only do trusts avoid probate, but (unless state law requires otherwise at death) the children do not receive notice of the creation of a trust. An inheritance trust, where you leave money to your child, names a trustee to be in charge of the trust and the child is the only beneficiary of the trust. The child might be a co-trustee, but they do not have complete control over the trust. The spouse has no control over the inheritance, and you can also name what happens to the assets in the trust, if the child dies.

This kind of planning is called “controlling from the grave,” but it’s better than not knowing if your child will be able to protect their inheritance from a divorce or from creditors.

With a national divorce rate around fifty percent, it’s hard to tell if the in-law (or as I like to refer to them as the “out-laws”) you welcomed with an open heart, will one day become a predatory enemy in the future, even after you are gone. The use of trusts can ensure that assets remain in the bloodline and protect your hard work from divorces, lawsuits, creditors and other unexpected events as these assets are not considered assets of the child.

Please contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation, either in person or virtually through Zoom, to determine if your estate plan has these protective features.

Reference: Times Herald-Record (June 6, 2020) “Dealing with disinheritance, spouses”

 

Continue Reading

Will 007 Leave His Little Spies All of His Riches?

James Bond actor Daniel Craig says he and his wife, Rachel Weisz, won’t be giving their large fortune of over $100 million to their children. In an interview with Saga magazine, the James Bond star commented that he finds the idea of inheritance “distasteful.”

“My philosophy is to get rid of it or give it away before you go,” he said.

Yahoo Entertainment’s article from March entitled “Daniel Craig says he doesn’t plan to leave his fortune to his kids: ‘Get rid of it or give it away before you go’,” reports that he has a baby daughter, born in 2018, with actress wife Rachel Weisz and an older daughter Ella, who is in her 20s, from his previous marriage. Craig is also stepfather to Weisz’s 13-year-old son Henry.

“I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation.”

Craig is not the only celebrity who has vowed to cut out his children from his estate plan. He is one of a growing number of stars who believe in allowing their children to find their own financial way in the world, instead of using their wealthy parents.

For example, rock icon Elton John and his husband David Furnish said in 2016 that they would be giving the lion’s share of their fortune to charity, not their two sons.

“Of course, I want to leave my boys in a very sound financial state. However, it’s terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life,” John remarked.

John went on to tell his sons, “Listen, the boys live the most incredible lives, they’re not normal kids, and I’m not pretending they are. But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work.”

Likewise, American Idol impresario Simon Cowell, told the Mirror in 2013 that he’s going to leave his money to somebody. “A charity, probably — kids and dogs. I don’t believe in passing on from one generation to another,” he said.

“Your legacy has to be that hopefully you gave enough people an opportunity, so that they could do well, and you gave them your time, taught them what you know,” Cowell added.

Daniel Craig will soon star in his final Bond movie, No Time to Die. The 007 film was originally scheduled for release in April, but now has been delayed until November.

What legacy do you want to leave to your family? Please contact me to set up a consultation, either in person or virtually, if you would like to discuss this further.

Reference: Yahoo Entertainment (March 23, 2020) “Daniel Craig says he doesn’t plan to leave his fortune to his kids: ‘Get rid of it or give it away before you go’”

 

Continue Reading
Close Menu