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Can you do estate planning when you're chronically ill?

You're unwell, and you've known for a while that your time was coming. You didn't have an estate plan in the past, and you know that it's a good idea to put one together soon.

You're worried that your current health will make it hard to create a will and estate plan because someone could argue that you're not healthy or aware enough to do so. How can you minimize the risk of that happening?

If you're dealing with a condition like Alzheimer's disease, dementia or others that could affect your thinking and memory, it's a good idea to get a medical provider to write a letter that states that you are in the right mind to complete legal paperwork. Your attorney will make sure there are witnesses who can also attest to your health at the time of the signing.

Doing this might seem like an additional hassle, but it can put others' minds at ease knowing that you were mentally competent when you made your decisions.

Is there anything you can do to prevent a will contest?

There are a couple things you can do. You can create a no-contest clause, which may or may not stand up in court, depending on the situation, or you could assign assets to specific trusts for distribution. You could also sit down and talk to your children or beneficiaries about your wishes so that there are no surprises when you pass away.

Our website has more on estate planning when you're ill. This can be a stressful time, but a good estate plan can help reduce your anxiety.

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