If we have learned one thing from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the time to plan for the future is now. It just goes to show each of us how important it is to have a strategy in place that accounts for unexpected events, as well as the inevitable. While this is important for everyone, it is especially so for people with significant health concerns, such as Parkinson’s Disease. 

Consider this:

Three out of four people with Parkinson’s Disease in the hospital don’t receive their medications on time and have a 1 in 4 chance of complications because of medication errors. The Parkinson’s Foundation “Aware in Care kit” includes tools and information that will help people with Parkinson’s and their families plan for the next hospital stay.

As California estate planning attorneys, we help our clients develop strategies tailored to meet their unique circumstances. While each person may have different objectives, ultimately, most of our goals are centered on protecting ourselves, our family, and what we care about most. In our firm, we listen to you, in order to help you achieve your goals.  

There are different tools we can use to ensure we reach your goals for your legacy. Each planning tool within your estate plan, from a last will and testament to a durable power of attorney,  serves a specific purpose. As most people know, a last will and testament allows the person who creates it to specify how he or she wants his or her assets to be distributed at death. 

What most people do not know, however, is how critical lifetime documents, such as the durable power of attorney are. Lifetime documents like this give someone you have chosen the legal authority to make certain decisions or conduct certain financial transactions for you. This authority is intended to only begin when a serious illness or injury renders you incapable of acting for yourself. 

Depending on your objectives, a revocable or irrevocable trust agreement can help you achieve different estate planning objectives. In general, it allows you to have a say in how your assets are distributed at death and avoid the probate process. There are other planning objectives trust planning can also reach including, but not limited to, limiting taxes, lifetime protections during incapacity, and protecting assets from being paid for long-term care costs.

In addition to these practical considerations, an estate plan can also provide emotional benefits. Chief among these is the peace of mind you may have knowing your family now has a plan in place to follow during your disability as well as a safety net. When you add health care documents to your estate plan, you may name someone to make certain healthcare decisions for you when you cannot do so. This can alleviate stress by making critical decisions early and by providing guidance during a healthcare crisis. Since this person will be able to make critical decisions about medical intervention, choosing someone you trust is essential.

Depending on your current circumstances, you may have additional questions or concerns. If so, please feel free to contact us to schedule a meeting where we can share legal advice and provide guidance. We are fully ready to assist you now and look forward to speaking with you soon. To learn more about the kit and managing Parkinson’s during Covid-19 visit Parkinson’s Association of San Diego. Life is short, plan well.