3 Estate Planning Steps to Take When You Are Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

3 Estate Planning Steps to Take When You Are Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-altering event that not only affects your physical and emotional well-being but also necessitates careful consideration of your financial and legal affairs. Estate planning is a crucial aspect of preparing for the uncertainties that may arise during and after your battle with breast cancer. We understand that you may have many questions during this challenging time and want to share three essential estate planning steps to help protect you, your family, and your legacy.

First, one of the most critical estate planning steps when facing a breast cancer diagnosis is to ensure that you have the right healthcare decision maker in place. This person will be responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your preferences. You will want to select a trusted individual to act as your healthcare decision maker to ensure that your medical preferences are honored. You may have specific treatment choices, such as the use of certain therapies or the avoidance of others, which should be respected even when you cannot express them yourself.  You need to select the person who will be able to advocate for you should you be unable to.

Equally important is the fact that designating a healthcare decision maker can alleviate the burden on your loved ones during a difficult time. Without a clear choice, disputes among family members can arise, leading to stress and potentially delaying critical medical decisions for you. To appoint the right healthcare decision maker, discuss your choices with both your experienced Florida estate planning attorney and your potential agent to ensure they understand your preferences and values.

Second, navigating the complexities of estate planning can be daunting, especially when you are dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. An experienced Florida estate planning attorney can tailor your estate plan to address the specific needs and challenges posed by your diagnosis. They can help you create a plan that takes into account potential healthcare costs, managing assets, and protecting your loved ones. If you already have an estate plan in place, it is essential to update it to reflect your current circumstances. Your Florida experienced estate planning attorney will help you make the necessary revisions to accommodate changes in your health and financial situation and will work alongside you to create a comprehensive plan that addresses all your concerns.

Third, and equally important while facing breast cancer, is ensuring both the financial security and well-being of your family and the preservation of your legacy. Estate planning offers various tools to address these concerns including, but not limited to, any of the following that you may discuss with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney:

  • Legacy documents. Drafting a will or establishing trusts to allow you to determine how your assets are distributed after your passing, ensuring that your loved ones are provided for according to your wishes.
  • Life insurance. Consider reviewing your life insurance policies and updating beneficiaries to provide financial support to your family if the worst should happen.
  • Living will. Beyond your health care surrogate document, a living will can outline your end-of-life preferences, including the use of life support and organ donation, offering clarity and peace of mind.
  • Charitable giving. If you have philanthropic goals, estate planning can facilitate charitable donations, allowing you to leave a lasting legacy by supporting causes that matter to you.

We know that a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but taking proactive estate planning steps can provide peace of mind and ensure your wishes are honored during and after your battle with the disease.  We also know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our Florida estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more.

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