3 Keys to Estate Planning for HD

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3 Keys to Estate Planning for HD

Huntington’s Disease is a horrible affliction to individuals that also causes upheaval and turmoil within the family. But planning ahead can empower individuals, protect the family, and even provide calm within the family when crisis hits because wishes have been discussed and laid out. This blog will be shorter than usual only because tonight (March 18, 2024), there is a livestream being broadcast with a question and answer session that will go in much more depth. However at a high level, there are three main keys to estate planning around HD:

  • Be Proactive: Too often, families suffering through Huntington’s Disease will put off estate planning because there are so many other things to do and consider. However, putting together important health-related documents can make all the difference. And if people wait too long, they may not be legally competent to execute these documents.
  • Avoid Government Entanglements: In addition to being proactive, finding ways to minimize or even avoid government and court interference is always preferable. I recently had a conversation with a mom whose child has HD and will be turning 18 soon. Because there is a need for assistance with banking, health care, and other life decisions BUT the child is fully capable right now. Her question was about getting guardianship for her child when they turn 18 because that’s what was suggested to her. However, there is no reason a confident 18 year old can’t execute a Durable General Power of Attorney and a Health Care Power of Attorney.
  • Don’t Pinch Pennies While Leaking Dollars: This attitude by a family is not limited to Huntington’s Disease. In fact, it is extremely common for seniors facing the prospect of needing nursing home care for any number of reasons. Specifically, the family will refuse to hire professionals to help preserve money and assets… because it would cost a fraction of those assets to preserve most of it. And they know there are upcoming medical expenses. When it comes to Medicaid Planning, it is not cheap but it can save the family hundreds of thousands of dollars if you get the right team on board. If someone told you if you kept going the way you were that the family would spend $300,000 on care before Medicaid kicked in, but a team of professionals costing $15,000 could save more than $250,000 of that money, wouldn’t you do it? Most people not in this situation would say it’s a no-brainer. However, when a family is in the thick of providing care, looking at finances, and trying to research everything they can on their own, there is a tendency to freeze up.

There are far too many specifics to go through when it comes to helping individuals and families working through Huntington’s Disease to put here, but you can check out the livestream here (starting at 6 p.m. on March 18, 2024), and the livestream should remain at that same YouTube link afterwards. If you or someone you know needs any assistance, then please let us know by calling the law office at 919-844-7993.

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