Start Planning Early
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, the last thing you want to worry about is your financial matters.
But it is important to start planning early, because your condition may deteriorate rapidly and you may lose your chance to prepare your final wishes. Worse, medical bills start escalating and you begin to worry: How will be able to afford the care I need? How will my family survive without me to support them?
Preparing your final wishes lets your family know how you want to live in your final moments, and how you want to be remembered. We can help customize a life plan that ensures your quality of life and create a memorable legacy for your family.
If you or someone you care about is facing a terminal illness, you may find the emotional strain is compounded by financial concerns. Some questions you may want to consider:
- Are your estate plans in order? At a minimum, this means having a will, a power of attorney, a healthcare directive, and perhaps a trust depending upon what you own.
- Have you updated the beneficiary designation on all of your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, bank accounts, or other transfer on death designations?
- Do you qualify for Social Security, Medicare, Medi-Cal, or California short-term disability insurance?
- Do you have appropriate health and disability insurance? Some employers have benefits that have no health underwriting requirements that you may be able to take advantage of. With the Affordable Care Act, you may be able to switch to a health insurance with better coverage or a lower out-of-pocket expense.
- Are there support groups that can help you cope emotionally and give you advice?
We can ensure than you have a financial plan in place that addressed your end-of-life options and how you want to live and how you want your family to remember you. We understand that there is more to life than money and property, and our focus is on ensuring your quality of life and not merely inheritance issues.
Making arrangements for children
Single parents diagnosed with a life-threatening illnesses are naturally concerned about who will provide for their minor children.
In California, a terminally ill single parent doesn’t have to wait until he or she passes away before making arrangements for his or her children. California Probate Code 2105(f) provides for the appointment of a joint guardians over minor children if a custodial parent becomes terminally ill. This allows the single parent to choose a guardian to look after the children without giving up any of his or her parental rights to the children.
For low-income families, Public Counsel has a pro bono program called Peace of Mind where attorneys volunteer to assist with preparing petitions for joint guardianships.
If you don’t qualify for the Peace of Mind program, we can assist with the preparation of the petition for joint guardianship at affordable rates.
We Can Help
Let’s discuss creating a plan for you and your family. Call (310) 237-3872.
Many people find the process of organizing their affairs to be freeing. By communicating their final wishes with their families and arranging all the practical considerations, they ensure that their family can concentrate on love and relationships.
There are many options for creating a remembrance, such as charitable donations, memorials, letters of instruction, scrapbooks, gifts, etc. We can guide you on your different options and create a fitting remembrance for your loved ones.