No matter if it is arthritis, Alzheimer’s, or multiple sclerosis, long-lasting medical conditions should influence how an estate plan is written. This is an important issue because millions of individuals are living with chronic illnesses.
The following will review some of the important steps that individuals who suffer from chronic conditions should follow when estate planning.
The Role of Revocable Trusts
A number of estate plans utilize revocable trusts. One of the primary purposes of a revocable trust is to avoid the costs and other challenges that can arise during the probate process.
Many people with chronic medical conditions discover that revocable trusts are a powerful way to plan for the succession of finances. Some individuals with revocable trusts even decide to appoint trust protectors who help to safeguard the trust.
The Role of Living Wills
A living will is a document that contains a person’s health care wishes, including end-of-life issues. These documents can also reflect a person’s religious beliefs. For individuals with chronic health issues, there are unique considerations involved with living wills including how potential unique complications with a disease should be handled.
There also might be certain courses of treatment that are anticipated when a disease progresses. Another important issue for people with chronic health issues is how organ and tissue donation should be handled.
Health Care Proxies
Health care proxies are legal documents in which an individual designates a person or agent who will make medical decisions in case the individual is no longer able to take care of him or herself.
One of the most important issues involving health proxies is making certain that an adequate agent is appointed. For individuals with chronic health issues, it is a wise idea to consider whether you should grant an agent the ability to change your location.
Financial Power of Attorney
Financial power of attorney is a type of legal document through which a person designates a trusted individual who will make decisions concerning his or her financial and legal issues.
While this is a type of document that every individual should have in place, some of the unique issues when health care is involved include the degree of control that must be relinquished.
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment
These documents are designed to make end-of-life decisions and are not as broad as the steps that would be contained in a health care proxy or living will. For individuals with chronic conditions who do not have families or who want greater assurance that their end of life wishes will be fully carried out, these documents can play a vital role.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today
A chronic condition can influence a number of estate planning issues. To make sure that you have the best possible estate plan for your unique situation, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney today.
Contact attorney Jim A Lyon to schedule a free initial consultation.