Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us: either ourselves or a loved one facing a terminal illness. There are many things to think about, like legal issues, medical bills, and preparing mentally and emotionally for their death.
Our loved ones begin to lose mental and physical capacity as their terminal illness progresses in many instances. Preventing extra work and stress on family, friends, and caregivers is most helpful to handle this transition period.
Legal documents need to be very clear and handled adequately. Ideally, lawyers handle all legal documents. But, of course, legal fees can be expensive, on top of all the other expenses. It’s important, therefore, to work with Feeney & Dixon as they have the experience and integrity to handle estate matters with compassion.
The most common documents you may need to prepare for when your loved one is no longer able to make important legal and medical decisions:
- Power of attorney, your loved one authorizes you to make legal decisions for them with this document.
- A durable power of attorney for health care approves someone explicitly “to make all decisions regarding health care,” including treatment and end-of-life care.
- A living will state ahead of time what type of medical care they want, usually including if they wish to have life-support procedures or not.
Medical and Other Expenses
Besides physical, mental, and emotional changes that face you and your family dealing with this sad situation, many additional financial concerns may appear. For example, the other expenses of doctors, hospital care, hospice, medical supplies, surgeries, etc., all add up quickly.
According to a study reported by Sun Life Financial Benefits, “medical problems contribute to roughly half of all personal bankruptcies and home foreclosures.” As a result, you may consider selling your home or, at least, refinancing your mortgage as a viable option to pay these extra expenses.
Before refinancing, though, there are some essential things to consider. Firstly, refinancing means paying off your original mortgage and establishing a new mortgage. Next, calculate current interest rates to ensure that refinancing is suitable for your financial situation.
Weighing your options in this area before jumping ahead with refinancing will help you make the right decision for you during this time.
As you and your loved ones have to adjust to the changing situation, there are ways to prepare for the emotional upheaval terminal illness brings to the family members. Everyone, including the patient, reacts differently to the diagnosis. But, some people want to focus on stability and “be treated as normally as possible.”
Even before your loved one’s death, you may start to grieve. “Your mind starts to process the loss as it anticipates this future thing happening.” One way of handling this grief is by remaining hopeful while reframing hope differently. It could be redefining hope as an ending to their suffering, or some look forward to seeing other loved ones in the afterlife.
While terminal illness leads to devastating loss, some preparation early, like arranging legal documents, planning for extra expenses, and caring for yourself and your loved ones’ emotional needs, can ease the experience. Even throughout these difficult circumstances, it’s possible to stay hopeful and reduce stress for everyone involved. Let Feeney & Dixon ease some of your burdens. Reach out for a consultation today.
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-Lucille Rosetti, Guest Contributor
© 2021 Lucille Rosetti
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