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Estate planning and administration for terminally ill patients

While every Illinois resident's life, as well as all other lives, must come to an end at some point, it doesn't mean that every person will have his or her estate in order when he or she dies. Some people try to avoid the estate planning and administration process because they don't like to discuss such matters or because they think they have all the time in the world to think about such things. When terminal illness strikes, however, it can add urgency to such issues.  

If someone is terminally ill, the estate planning process and long-term care issues may intersect. Whether or not a person is able to remain in the workplace following his or her diagnosis can impact estate planning decisions. Most patients hope to have enough funds to cover medical treatment and living assistance expenses as needed.  

Terminal illness patients may also be concerned with retaining assets for their loved ones to inherit when the time comes for their estates to be administered. Receiving a terminal diagnosis not only has financial implications, it often causes emotional upheaval as well, as the patient, as well as family members and close friends, begin a type of grieving process as they come to terms with such news. There are patient advocates and support groups in many areas that help families navigate terminal illness situations.  

When entering the estate planning and administration process, most Illinois estate owners choose to execute final wills and testaments. This is a key factor in helping loved ones avoid probate litigation, which can add stress to the mourning process. A terminally ill patient may want to ask an experienced estate planning attorney to review his or her plan and to remain on-hand in case any changes or updates are needed.  

Source:, "Planning During Terminal Illness", James R. Grimaldi, James A.J. Revels, Sidney Kess, Accessed on May 30, 2018

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