Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Estate Planning For People WIth A Chronic Condition Or Disability

The book, Estate Planning for People With A Chronic Condition or Disability may not be as tempting as the latest thriller or spy novel, but if you are one of millions Americans facing daily life with a chronic or disabling disease, thoughts about the future and planning for it are important for emotional as well as medical and legal reasons. If you have strong feelings about your health care options and end of life care and realize a time may come when you can no longer express your feelings to your loved ones, this book can help you make those preparations with its step by step basics for planning your estate which includes health care proxies, “living wills,” HIPAA requirements, trusts, wills and power of attorney. Now is the time to legally document your wishes so your loved ones have your thoughts in a binding document to guide their decision-making during difficult times. It is a gift to them as well as a choice about your own life.

The book breaks little new ground but it does an excellent job of gathering resources into one volume and using clear, precise language to help readers through this sometimes “difficult to think about,” journey as they make end of life decisions about healthcare, finances and other resources. While the author, Martin Shenkman takes great care to advise readers to consult an attorney, forms are included that can be used if resources are limited. This book is a great starting point when faced with a chronic or disabling condition within the family and legal issues that may occur such as the need for power of attorney, or access to medical records, etc.

An excellent resource and a book that may be especially helpful to people with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, or Alzheimer’s Disease since some specific examples are cited but a great resource for other chronic/disabling diseases conditions too. As someone with MS I was glad to have a chance to review this book and learn more about estate planning options.