Florida Estate Planning Tips When You Have Received a Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis and estate planning can offset each other and enable you to focus on recovery.

Cancer diagnosis and estate planning

Estate planning should be a high priority for all Florida adults. Is it for you? Be able to make the early choice of who will be able to care for you as you face a cancer diagnosis and who should have legal authority to make decisions when you are incapacitated. Ultimately, a cancer diagnosis and estate planning go hand in hand.  Including deciding how to protect your legacy and who should inherit from you at your passing, these are each important discussions that you should have with your Florida estate planning attorney. The critical presence of a Florida estate plan in our lives should not be dismissed even though less than half of all Americans today currently have one.

Often when living a healthy, active, and successful life in Florida people put off creating a Florida estate plan, choosing instead to not think about the benefits of estate planning and what it can do for them. However, we have seen firsthand this attitude change dramatically when a negative healthcare diagnosis is received. When facing a significant health care issues such as a cancer diagnosis, for example, many start to question what the next chapter of their lives will look like and the impact on their legacy. They need to be able to answer questions such as:

  • Who will pay my bills on time if I cannot? 
  • Who will make my healthcare decisions if I am in a coma? 
  • Do I need a Florida living will?
  • Who will inherit from me at the time of my passing?
  • Who will care for my pets?
  • How can I ensure my business continues when I am not here?
  • How can I make sure my family is provided for when I am no longer here?

A Florida estate plan can answer these questions, and so many more, when it comes to caring for those you love, planning for your legacy, and providing for yourself. In addition, estate planning allows you to answer lifetime questions in advance. This could include, but is not limited to, choosing trusted decision makers to act for you in a crisis when you no longer have the capacity to make your own decisions. You can give legal authority through estate planning tools, such as a power of attorney, to those you trust as well as name backups in the event they are not able to act for you when needed.

When you face a diagnosis such as cancer, careful Florida estate planning can also work hand-in-hand with your health care plan. For example, what treatments do you want to receive? What treatments do you not want to receive? What do you wish to see happen in your business? How do you want your minor children to be cared for? How will you pay for this care? And, if you are unable to act for yourself, who should make these decisions for you?

Another critical part of your Florida estate planning is your legacy. This is more than just the concept of who should inherit from you at the time you pass. This is your opportunity to share your dreams with those who will inherit from you and the goals for their future. Your experienced Florida estate planning attorney can help you define what your legacy looks like and ensure you have a plan in place to reach it.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers.  Our 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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