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Estate planning as an individual with a chronic illness

Thinking about the future and making plans for your estate and health care years down the road can be difficult and anxiety-inducing. This is especially true for individuals who have chronic illnesses. If you have a sickness that will likely impact the rest of your life, it may be necessary to take this into consideration in your estate plan.

It is possible to have protections and plans in place that can allow you to say what type of health care you may want in the future. You can also set aside funds for your care, designate a person to act on your behalf, and take other steps that will reduce the emotional and mental burden on your family.

Your illness and your estate plan 

A chronic illness can affect many areas of your life, as well as any plans you make for the future. This may be more common than you think – many Americans live with a condition that affects their daily lives. It's estimated that almost 160 million people will have some sort of chronic condition by the year 2020. You are not alone, but your estate plan should be uniquely suited to your individual needs and objectives. The following steps may be useful for you: 

  • Find out what estate planning documents may benefit you, including drafting a will or updating an existing will. It's prudent to do this before there is a chance your condition will impair your cognition.
  • By drafting a living will and other health care related documents, you can have a more direct say over what will happen to your body and with your medical care in the future.
  • You may also want to draft a financial power of attorney, which will allow a person you appoint to make financial decisions on your behalf in case of incapacitation.
  • It may also help to draft a revocable trust that will allow you to maintain more control over your financial circumstances down the road.

These are only a few of the steps that may prove useful for you as you plan for your future. Some of these decisions are complicated and difficult to consider, and you will find significant benefit in working with an experienced Ohio estate planning attorney throughout this process. Your legal ally can help you weigh your options and determine which is the best way forward for your individual and unique situation.

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