We’ve said that estate planning is important for everyone. However, it can be especially important for cancer patients. While some believe estate planning is only for the wealthy, that’s not the case: it’s an important part of everyone’s overall financial and legal strategy.
The Santa Maria Times’ recent article on this subject asks, “What is the importance of estate planning, advance health care directives?” As the article explains, estate planning is just having a plan in place that addresses how you’d like to see your estate—including assets, pensions, real estate, and more—distributed, in the event of incapacitation or death.
First, you should create the necessary legal documents and a clear financial plan. A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event for the patient and her family. A significant component of getting and staying healthy is eliminating stress. From the moment you first receive the diagnosis, there are critical decisions that must be made on a regular basis. Estate planning can help to decrease much of that stress.
Even if you set up your estate planning years ago, your documents should be reviewed periodically, especially after a life-changing event like a cancer diagnosis.
Your complete estate plan may include the following:
- An advance health care directive to physicians that designate a trusted person to speak for you and make your medical decisions, if you are unable to do so, even temporarily;
- A review of all assets, including retirement accounts, investments, or bank accounts to confirm proper beneficiary designation and planning to avoid probate;
- A power of attorney for financial decisions;
- A will and/or Trust especially in Califonria if your assets exceed $150,000 and you have minor childre;
- Guardian nomination for minor children; and
- A list of instructions and organizing information, so you can focus on recovery.
With an estate plan in place, along with careful planning and support, a cancer patient can achieve a feeling of well-being, even while confronting this life-threatening illness.
One of the main goals of our law practice is to help families like yours plan for the safe, successful transfer of wealth to the next generation. Call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about your estate plan, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family to ensure your legacy of love and financial security. Our office is located in Santa Ana, CA but we serve all of California including Irvine, Orange, Tustin, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.
Reference: Santa Maria Times (February 18, 2019) “What is the importance of estate planning, advance health care directives?”