Do you suffer from a chronic illness? Whether it is severe or mild, you want to consider it carefully when you do your estate planning. It can have a big impact on the type of planning that you do.
Many people assume that chronic illnesses are not that common, but it's just not true. The statistics show that over 130 million people in the United States have some type of chronic or long-lasting illness. This year, in 2020, that is predicted to rise to 157 million. Cancer is responsible for about 9 million of these cases, as even those who survive the disease may experience long-term side effects.
This is especially prominent in the elderly, who often think more about estate planning to begin with. For instance, if you look at those from 65 years old to 74 years old, about 25% of them have "had their lives significantly impacted by chronic illness."
What does this mean for your estate planning? It means you have to think of much more than just your material assets and how to divide them. You also have to consider what type of medical care you need, how to create an advance directive, how to use a power of attorney, if the illness is expected to shorten your life and things of this nature. Estate planning must be a comprehensive process that takes into account the challenges you face and how they are going to impact both your estate and your family.
As you get this process started, it's crucial to look into all of the legal options you have.