Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease? We recognize this is a difficult time for all Americans, especially those who find themselves in the “at risk” category for Covid-19. While we know there is never a good time to be diagnosed with an illness such as Parkinson’s, we also know that this can be further complicated for you and your family due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

In recognition of Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, the Parkinson’s Foundation is stressing the importance of planning of all kinds. In fact, the organization says, planning ahead helps people with Parkinson’s Disease confront the challenges it often poses.

As estate planning attorneys, we also know the value of strategies that address current and future circumstances. Accordingly, we recommend that everyone create an estate plan that suits his or her needs, as well as one that addresses the needs of family members, businesses, and the legacy one wants to leave. This is especially important for anyone with a chronic health condition such as Parkinson’s Disease. Let us share more information to help you understand why.

An estate plan is a legal tool that can serve many purposes but there are two main aspects that we would like to point out. First, it ensures your family is provided for as per your wishes after you die.  Second, it ensures your wishes can be carried out even if you cannot express them. The latter is critical with a diagnosis such as this one. By creating health care and financial documents, such as a durable power of attorney, you are ensuring that you have chosen someone you trust who will have legal authority to make decisions for you when you are incapable of doing so yourself.

Further, a comprehensive estate plan includes additional documents that address healthcare concerns. For example, you can specify how much medical intervention you would want if serious illness or injury prevents you from making your wishes known. Would you want to be put on a machine to help you breathe? Would you want to remain on life support indefinitely? As long as it is written while you are mentally competent, healthcare directives can provide a legal roadmap for your treatment in life-threatening circumstances.

As you know, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not an immediate death sentence. There is no denying, however, that Parkinson’s is a chronic condition that worsens with time and has no known cure. This means the time to start planning for the future is as soon as possible. You can do so by contacting our law firm to arrange an appointment to meet with attorney Alan Hougum now, or at any point in the future.