How Should You Plan Your Estate When You Are Facing Cancer?

Patient discussing cancer diagnosis with doctor p42PenrodBlog_June_1

Have you received a diagnosis of cancer? We know this is devastating news and your mind is full of questions. Are you wondering what to do first? Inform your family? Set up treatments? Get help? And, how should you plan your estate and your future?

With National Cancer Awareness Month, and throughout the year, we have six key items for you to consider right now so that you can get as much support as possible.

1. What support do you need right now? A cancer diagnosis is significant. What help will you need with your new diagnosis? Do you need help with food? Grocery shopping? Medication management? Will you need transportation to doctor appointments and treatment options? Are there family members or friends or neighbors who can assist you?

2. Who are your health care providers and will they be changing? Often cancer requires specific treatment and you may need a specialist in addition to your personal doctor.

3. Who is your backup decision maker for health care decisions? Your cancer diagnosis may also include a need for surgery, advanced treatments, and more. Now is the time to meet with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to determine who should have this authority as your decision maker if you are incapacitated. Your attorney will also discuss how you want to handle end of life conditions or the need for life sustaining treatments.

4. Who is your backup decision maker for financial decisions? Just like health care decisions, who should have the ability to make financial decisions? These decisions can include, but not be limited to, paying bills, ensuring income is regularly deposited, monitoring financial investments, and even applying for public benefits to help pay for care should the need arise.

5. Do you have a Florida estate plan? Is your Florida estate plan up-to-date? Does your estate plan reflect your wishes for your person, your decisions, and your legacy? Your experienced Florida estate planning attorney will work with you to determine not just what you want done at the time of your passing, but who you want to give legal authority to make your decisions in the event you are incapacitated.

6. Have you made any long-term care plans? Long-term care planning, or elder law planning, addresses what you will need as you age. Be aware that your Medicare coverage has limitations and may not be able to cover everything you will need. Beyond this, now is the time to determine the answers to questions such as can you live at home independently? Will you need a caregiver? How can you plan ahead to afford the care you need? Has your cancer diagnosis changed this?

There is so much to address in light of your cancer diagnosis. Our firm is here to support you now and available to answer your questions. We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. No matter where you are in life’s journey, we can help. The most important thing is to protect yourself and those you love. Whether you need to update your estate plan, are preparing for future long-term care needs, or have a loved one entering or already in a nursing home, we are ready to assist you. We have three convenient locations and are ready to serve the communities around Highlands and Polk County, Florida. Take your first step by contacting us today.

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