It is not uncommon for people who learn that they are dying to reach out to an estate planning attorney and ask about what they need to do to protect their final wishes. Learning that you have a terminal disease or that your life may soon be coming to an end can be traumatizing. Even the most well-prepared, calm, and rational person can have difficulty confronting his or her own mortality, much less addressing the legal realities that surround death and dying.
If you have learned that you are dying, there are some practical steps you can take to help prepare you, and ensure that your final wishes are respected.
What should I do about my final wishes? Think about your health care options.
Many terminal illnesses involve complicated issues about healthcare. As long as you are able to make choices, you can create medical directives that control the kinds of health care you receive if you lose capacity. Health care or medical directives give you the ability to, for example, refuse extraordinary care, or control exactly what your physicians and health care providers do for you if you can no longer communicate or make decisions.
What should I do about my final wishes? Review your finances.
Another issue you’ll need to think about if you learn you are dying is the question of what happens to your property. Do you want to leave specific inheritances? Do you want someone to manage your estate and make sure your wishes are respected? Do you want to leave property for young children or loved ones with special needs?
You’ll have to think about each of these kinds of questions, and then be prepared to make specific estate planning tools to protect your decisions.
What should I do about my final wishes? Talk to a lawyer today.
It might be difficult to reach out to an estate planning attorney if you learn you are dying, but delaying can be a critical mistake. There are many estate planning tools that take time to create, and giving yourself as much time as possible to ensure that your final wishes will be respected is essential.
If you are dying and have yet to talk to an estate planning lawyer, contact us as soon as possible. We can guide you through the individual issues that you might face, explain what tools are available to you, and then help you create the estate plan that protects your wishes.