Whether you are taking care of yourself or a loved one, managing a chronic illness can result in major life changes. You may need to deal with insurance payments, countless doctor appointments, and new treatments. During this major change, it is vital to have a comprehensive estate plan set in place to save you and your loved one’s time and stress in the future.
Estate Planning Documents for Those Living with Chronic Illness
More than 130 million Americans are living with a chronic illness. If you are one of the millions suffering a chronic illness, you will likely need estate planning documents that most people should have. However, these documents will need to be modified to best serve your needs and address potential challenges.
Living Wills & Chronic Illness
A living will is a statement of your health care wishes. A living will address end-of-life decisions, along with other related medical factors. If you ever get to the point where you can’t physically or mentally make decisions about your health care, a living will can ensure that your wishes are always met. Depending on your situation, you might wish to address experimental treatments, drug therapies, and more. The health care facility would then follow the details in your living will to meet your specific requirements.
Medical Power of Attorney & Chronic Illness
A medical power of attorney is a legal document that helps you choose a trusted person or “agent” to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Unlike a living will, a medical power of attorney gives the agent the ability to make decisions about your health care procedures. Most people talk to their agents and express their wishes to help them make difficult decisions when you are unable to do so.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is a legal document in which you choose a trusted person to handle legal, tax, and financial matters if you can’t do so. This is a basic legal document that everyone should have in their estate plan. There are many different types of powers of attorneys. For example, a springing power only becomes effective if you become disabled. The control would then be transferred to your agent if you become disabled. You can speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to determine which power of attorney would be beneficial for your unique situation.
Revisiting Estate Plans
Estate planning can be an emotional and complicated process, so once people have completed it, they rarely revisit it. However, it is essential to update estate plans and ensure that they are fit to handle any new situations in your life. The current health pandemic has left many families with difficult estate planning situations. If you already have all of the documents listed above, you should consider thoroughly reviewing them to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.
How Can I Build the Right Estate Plan?
Building a comprehensive estate plan that will protect your family, your assets, and your wishes is a complicated process. That is why you need to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure you have the right documents to establish the right protection--especially if you have a chronic illness.
Our team at Marsden Law P.C. have helped families throughout Metro West Boston determine which documents they need to create their estate plans. We can review your current plan to ensure that it has everything you need. We are here to help you account for any major life events that occur in the future.
Contact our Metro West Boston estate planning attorneys today at (800) 828-7854 to schedule a free case consultation!