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Estate Planning With a Chronic or Terminal Disease

Many people feel estate planning is too private or even morbid to discuss but having this conversation is crucial. Each family has unique circumstances and unique estate planning needs—this is especially true of families in which one member has a chronic or terminal disease such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or the like.

For most people, the documents in their estate plan constitute a “someday” or a “what if” scenario, but for anyone with chronic or terminal diseases the documents in their estate plan address issues that are much more immediate and certain.  For this reason, it is absolutely essential for individuals suffering from chronic or terminal illness to take control of their estate planning, health care, and financial affairs right now.

Here are some tactics to consider:

  • Customize your estate planning documents such as your will, trust, durable power of attorney and health care directives.
  • Sign your documents right now, while you still can.
  • Make use of your temporary or limited powers options in your healthcare and financial documents, giving your chosen agents the limited power while you are temporarily incapacitated to do small but necessary tasks such as pay your bills and file your taxes.
  • Make sure your desires and wishes will be carried out including extra ordinary life sustaining treatment.
  • Ensure that your personal property and assets will pass to loved ones in the manner that you direct in your Will and/or Living Trust.

Living with a chronic or terminal disease is a unique situation and requires unique planning and preparation— planning that is best done right away, for the good of your family and for yourself.

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