Estate Planning Tips When You Have a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

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Have you had an early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease? It is a life-changing moment and may cause a range of emotions and concerns about the future. In fact, one action that you can take and can provide a sense of empowerment and security is Florida estate planning. Planning now, after such a diagnosis, can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored, your family will be protected, and your medical and financial affairs are in order. We know how concerned you may be and we have a few estate planning tips to consider in your Florida estate planning journey following an early Parkinson’s diagnosis.

  1. You need to understand your diagnosis and be able to project future needs. Start by obtaining an understanding of your diagnosis and how it might progress. You need to think about how your health may change over time and what that means for your living situation, healthcare needs, and day-to-day assistance. Given the progressive nature of Parkinson’s, consider long-term care planning. This includes evaluating insurance options, Medicaid planning, and other resources to cover the cost of home care, assisted living, or nursing home care. This understanding is crucial for creating a comprehensive estate plan with your experienced AFELA estate planning attorney in your area that addresses your anticipated needs.


  1. If you currently have a Florida estate plan, be sure to update it.  If you have Florida estate planning in place, you need to review and update your planning with the AFELA attorney in your area. You need to be sure it reflects your current wishes, including the distribution of your assets and the care of yourself as well as any dependents. If you do not have a Florida estate plan, now is the time to create one.


  1. You should think about adding a trust agreement to your Florida estate plan. With a trust agreement you can have more control over how your assets are used and distributed during your lifetime and after your passing. It can also help with the management of your affairs without the need for court intervention, preserving privacy and reducing potential conflicts among family members. 


  1. Be sure to establish or update your Florida durable power of attorney. For your finances, a Florida durable power of attorney is vital. This legal planning tool will allow you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. For finances, this encompasses not only managing your assets and financial affairs but also ensuring that a trusted loved one can apply for public benefits should you need to find ways to pay for long-term care.


  1. You need to document your healthcare goals. With a critical diagnosis of any kind it is a must to document your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care with your AFELA estate planning attorney in your area. Discussing and documenting your wishes early ensures that they are respected, even if you are unable to communicate. Open and honest communication with your family and loved ones about your wishes and the details of your Florida estate plan is essential. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that your appointed decision-makers are prepared to act on your behalf when the time comes.

Without a doubt, an early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease brings challenges, but it also provides an opportunity to take control of your future through thoughtful estate planning. By using these key estate planning tips, you can be sure that your wishes are honored, your loved ones are cared for, and you are prepared for the changes ahead. By working with one of our experienced AFELA attorneys in your area, they can help you navigate the complexities of your unique situation, offering peace of mind to you and your family.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. The Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA) is the pre-eminent organization of Florida elder law attorneys providing advocacy, education and action on behalf of seniors and people with disabilities. We encourage you to contact one of our attorneys in your area using our Find a Lawyer website for assistance.