Title

Text Resize
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed
Saturday September 23, 2017

Personal Planner

Planning with a Serious Illness

Planning with a Serious Illness

If at some point in life you have a serious illness, there are a number of planning options that should be considered.

With a serious illness, there are emotional, physical and mental challenges. The illness may be primarily physical, but the person will eventually start to suffer discouragement and even depression. His or her mental capabilities may also start to fail due to deterioration of the body.

Given these serious issues, it is important to consider the care of the person, care of his or her property, financial decisions, potential actions and securing assistance from advisors and family.

Care of the Person


There are several areas that are important in thinking through care of the person. You should check to make sure you have a current durable power of attorney for healthcare or advance directive. This document needs to be shared with the person who is designated as your healthcare proxy. A serious illness could lead to your hospitalization and a need for the healthcare proxy to make important medical decisions.

There also are potential physical changes for a home or a vehicle. If you have an illness but can operate a motorized wheelchair, it may be appropriate to modify or remodel your home to make it handicap accessible. Similarly, you may suffer from a major illness but are still capable of driving. However, it may be necessary to obtain or modify a vehicle so that you can still drive.

A primary concern for the ill person is, "Who will be the caregiver?" Initially, the seriously ill person may stay at home and a family member may be caregiver. However, you should have a plan to move to assisted living, a nursing home or even a hospital if needed.

Care of Your Property


If you have a serious illness, it will be important to have either a person who has a power of attorney to manage your property or a revocable living trust. With a revocable living trust, your property is transferred by deed or other document to the trustee. While you may be the initial trustee, your trust also lists a successor trustee to take over if you are no longer able to manage property. With a serious illness, you may wish to resign and have the successor trustee take over while you still have the ability to offer advice and counsel.

If you have a home with valuable art or other valuable collections, it will be important to prepare for management of your property. At any time in the future, you may need to move to nursing care or the hospital. Valuable property will need to be protected and preserved for your estate beneficiaries.

With a serious illness, it is a good time to review your will and all trusts. If you have a trust, you should make certain that the title and ownership of property is correct. The trust is effective only if property is legally transferred to the trustee. Similarly, some individuals hold property as joint tenants with right of survivorship with other family members. If this is the case and you pass away, the surviving family member will own the property outright. If that is your intention, this method is fine. However, you should check all titles to make sure that they are correct for the plan that you have created.

Financial Accounts


You may have bank accounts, securities accounts and other business accounts. Check to be certain that all of the accounts are listed on your financial records. If you have online access to the accounts, a trusted advisor should know all of the passwords. If you are in the hospital or nursing home, your advisor will need access to your accounts.

Potential Actions


You may have a current pattern of gifts to family or gifts to charity. If you wish to have your successor trustee or the person holding your power of attorney continue that gifting pattern, there will need to be a specific direction in your living trust or power of attorney to achieve that result.

In some states, there could be very significant income and estate taxes. Even though you have a serious illness, it may be worth considering changing your domicile to a state with a lower tax structure. This will require that you establish a new residence, change your driver's license and auto registration, file your income taxes and show that you are a permanent resident of the new state.

Advisors and Family


Particularly if you have a substantial estate and are quite ill, it is important to make sure that you have reliable and trustworthy advisors. Far too many elders who have substantial assets become weak and are victims of elder abuse. A group of trusted advisors and family members will protect you and your property.

Your advisors will discuss your vehicle use. There are several cases where seniors felt able to drive vehicles, but were progressively less capable. One individual in her 80s drove regularly to visit her daughter just one mile away. However, one day she made a wrong turn and became disoriented. A day and a half later, the highway patrol discovered the car idling at the side of the road several hundred miles away. Fortunately, she did not become lost during the winter or she very easily could have frozen to death before being discovered.

Advisors and family members will need to discuss with the seriously ill person the arrangements for transportation and the possibility of higher levels of care. This could mean moving from your home into an assisted living facility or nursing home. These discussions are best undertaken while the seriously ill person is still able to think clearly and make good decisions.

Planning with a serious illness is a challenging process. Yet it is much better for the person and for the protection of the estate that the process is entered into openly and willingly by the individual and his or her advisors and family.

Published August 4, 2017

Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Previous Articles

Living Wills and Advance Directives

Your Family Letter - Memorial Services

Integrity and Initiative

Helping Children Tomorrow

Helping Children Today

scriptsknown

Shelby Harder, 2018
Dr. Irving Auld and Dorothy
Roher Auld Scholarship

"Many students take for granted what a university has to offer. However, I am thankful every single day for the opportunity to attend this prestigious school. At Lawrence, you have the ability to engage in Socratic debates about the world we live in at dinner, play recreational or NCAA sports, and talk one on one with brilliant professors. At Lawrence, you don't just 'learn' a subject, you are immersed in it. You dive into the liberal arts and these professors show you the beauty in it all, and how everything is tied together. I am a Biochemistry major with a soft spot for rocket science, philosophy, and evolution. Lawrence is my dream school, and it would have never been possible without the Dr. Irving Auld and Dorothy Roher Auld Scholarship. I am forever grateful for their generosity."

Max Loebl, 2017
Grace Gates Scholarship and Schade Family Scholarship

"Lawrence has been a life changing opportunity. My experience here is made possible by the Grace Gates Scholarship and the Schade Family Scholarship. I will always be grateful for the generosity that made my life at Lawrence a reality. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing education and lifelong connections I have made here. Beyond a doubt, my time at Lawrence has been a multifarious experience; playing varsity soccer, working in the Volunteer and Community Service Center, and now serving as the President of the Lawrence University Community Council. The times spent at Lawrence will be carried with me and cherished for the rest of my life."

Magdalen D'Alessio, 2017
Lillian Seybold Wells Memorial Scholarship

"Hello, my name is Magdalen D'Alessio, I'm majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education Studies and History. I am extremely thankful to be a recipient of the Lillian Seybold Wells Memorial Scholarship as I have been able to further my education and pursue my extracurricular interests, including Dance Team, and participating in the many International programs offered on campus. I'm really glad to be able to attend Lawrence and hope to expand my knowledge of the world even further! In the near future, I plan to conduct an independent study regarding the relationship between the government and school systems and the importance of parental involvement!"

Joe Johnson, 2017
Amy Aplin Larsen Scholarship

"The Amy Aplin Larsen Scholarship has allowed me to pursue tons of opportunities at Lawrence as part of a liberal arts education. I have been able to take classes from close to a dozen different academic departments, perform in ensembles and theatre productions, and take part in shaping the Lawrence community. Regardless of what field I may go into, the connections I have made here at Lawrence with staff, faculty, and friends have been invaluable. Thank you!"

Milwaukee-Downer Scholarships and Professorships

Some of the many recipients of Milwaukee-Downer scholarships gather for a photo with Carolyn King Stephens M-D'62 and Marlene Crupi-Widen M-D'55 in January 2014 at the annual scholarship luncheon.

Rosamund Victoria Bille Adler Scholarship
Dr. Charles E. Albright Scholarship
Helen Daniels Bader Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Scholarship
Catharine Beecher Endowed Fund for Downer Women
Bessie A. Bell Scholarship
Berk Scholarship
Frederick C. Best Scholarship
Beta Study Club Scholarship
Lynde Bradley Scholarship
Lucia R. Briggs-Alumnae Scholarship
Edith Lange Brooks Scholarship
Anne Barman Caldwell Scholarship
Alice Miller Chester Scholarship
City of Milwaukee Student Funds Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1940 Fund
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1942 Fund
College Endowment Association Scholarship
Janet Cope Crawford Scholarship
Jessie Mabbott Daniels Scholarship
F. T. Day Scholarship
Rufus Dodge Scholarship
Julia P. Ely and Hannah R. Vedder Memorial Scholarship
General Endowed Scholarship - M-D College
Dr. Alfred W. and Mrs. Ada F. Gray Scholarship
Berenice E. Hess Scholarship Endowment
Lucille Ray Hibbard Scholarship
Belle Austin Jacobs Scholarship
Helen McDermott Jurack and Ronald J. Mason Scholarship
Marjorie S. Logan Scholarship
Nellie Maxwell Scholarship
S. Annabelle & Paul McGuire Scholarship
Memorial Scholarship Fund - Milwaukee-Downer
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1953 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1955 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1956 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1957 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1958 and 1959 50th Reunion Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Club Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer/Lawrence College Consolidation 50th Anniversary Scholarship
Francis Evelyn Kelley Morgan Memorial Scholarship
O'Neill-Anderson Family Scholarship Endowment
Elizabeth A. Olson Scholarship
Gilbert Haven Peirce, Sr. and Emma Elizabeth Manor Peirce Milwaukee-Downer Scholarship
Aleida J. Pieters Scholarship
Matilda Siefert Puelicher Scholarship
Elizabeth Ann Richardson Scholarship
William M. Ross Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Rossberg Scholarship
Charles Frederic Sammond Scholarship
Mildred L. Schroeder Scholarship
Sivyer Educational Fund for Women
Marion Merrill Smith Scholarship
Dr. Elizabeth A. Steffen Scholarship
W. Mead and Elizabeth McKone Stillman Scholarship
Strzelczyk Family Scholarship
Clare Scherf Sweetman Scholarship
Raymond H. and Jane K. Taylor Scholarship
Jerline E. Walfoort Memorial Scholarship
Barbara E. Wehr Fund
Harmony Weissbach Scholarship
Martha and Frances Wheelock Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Professorship of Theatre and Drama
T. A. Chapman Professorship in Music
Alice G. Chapman Professorship in Physics
Alice G. Chapman Librarianship
Milwaukee-Downer College and College Endowment Association Professorship

Kaitlin Yorde, 2017
Maurine Campbell Endowed Scholarship

"I am so thankful to be a recipient of the Maurine Campbell Scholarship. I am the first person in my family to attend a four-year college, and this would not be possible without the scholarships I receive. At Lawrence there are so many wonderful opportunities and learning experiences available. This summer I was able to participate in research in my field and have also been able to get involved with the Appleton community through ESL tutoring at the Fox Valley Literacy Council. I am sure that the Lawrence education I have received will continue to benefit me for the rest of my life!"

LarryU Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

© Copyright 2017 Crescendo Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved
PRIVACY STATEMENT
This site is informational and educational in nature. It is not offering professional tax, legal, or accounting advice.
For specific advice about the effect of any planning concept on your tax or financial situation or with your estate, please consult a qualified professional advisor.