Creating an estate plan is a crucial step to creating the stability and solidity your children and other loved ones need. An estate plan can help you administer your assets in such a way to ensure your loved ones benefit for years or even decades to come. There are many different types of tools that may be used in your estate plan, depending on your goals. These different tools all have different technical requirements to be valid, but they all require that the person executing those documents have the proper capacity to appreciate the nature and contents of the documents they are signing. As a result, there are some types of illnesses that can severely impact your estate plan and its validity.
The most obvious example of an illness that would impact your estate plan is any disease that impacts your mental acuity, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Although an initial diagnosis does not immediately mean you do not have the capacity to execute a will, the longer you wait, the more likely it is that a judge would void your will because of a lack of testamentary capacity at the time you execute your will.
Another way illnesses can impact your estate plan is if you are diagnosed with severe mental illness. Just like dementia, some types of mental illness will reduce your ability to think clearly and execute a will that accurately reflects your estate and your wishes. If you are following your doctor’s instructions for treatment, you will have a better defense that your estate planning documents are valid. Failure to remain compliant with your provider’s recommendations could leave your estate open to an attack based on a lack of testamentary capacity.
Most people associate estate planning with drafting a last will and testament and the documents that will deal with your assets following your death. Accordingly, a terminal illness diagnosis can impact your estate plan, as an estate plan you drafted when you imagined having another forty years to build your estate will need to be drastically modified to reflect the new reality that you may succumb to your illness much sooner.
We have extensive experience helping our clients with all types of estate planning issues. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 and let us help you.