Estate planning for Parkinson’s patients

Nearly one million people are living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) which is a neurodegenerative disorder that grows progressively worse as people age. The cause of PD isn’t exactly known but the symptoms indicative of the disease includes tremors, limb rigidity and problems with gait and balance. Fortunately, PD is not fatal, but the disease can lead to serious complications as well as symptoms making daily routines challenging.

When it comes to creating a financial plan for you or a loved one, a disease such as PD can make the process even more complex. For this reason, estate planning for people with Parkinson’s must consider both the proper protection of assets as well as coverage for medical expenses. Many California residents work diligently to build financial security and shouldn’t see it jeopardized by a chronic illness. If you are living with Parkinson’s, be proactive in protecting your financial interests as well as securing the future for your loved ones.  

Things to consider

Estate planning for people with Parkinson’s is not a simple process because there is more to consider than just the will. Though factoring in death is part of estate planning, most of the process is dedicated to planning for life. Even if you are suffering from PD, you may have many decades of life ahead of you. It is critical to be financially prepared to protect your assets and create a plan to cover potential medical care.

When establishing an estate plan, you should seek legal guidance from an attorney experienced in customizing a life will for someone with Parkinson’s. Three things need to be included in this type of estate plan: Durable power of attorney (DPA), health proxy and living will. A DPA authorizes someone to serve as your attorney-in-fact who can handle your financial affairs including tax and legal matters even if you become disabled. A health proxy is like a DPA in that it appoints an individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Finally, a living will is a document that will “speak” for you even if you become disabled or where death is imminent in case of terminal illness. Attorneys stress the importance of a will that is not just thorough but specific in describing all your legal, religious and medical wishes. Without the specifics being addressed in the will, your DPA will be powerless to carry out your wishes.

Helping your loved ones

While estate planning can definitely feel overwhelming, putting it off will not benefit you or your loved ones. People with Parkinson’s already face enough difficulty without adding financial uncertainty on top of it.

Whether it is you living with Parkinson’s or a parent or spouse, you will find peace of mind when you seek legal advice with California Living Trusts. Knowledgeable in estate planning for those suffering from terminal illness, California Living Trusts will expertly guide you through how to set up Power of Attorney as well as how to prepare a living will that secures your financial future.