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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Estate Planning for a Longer Hospice Journey: What You Need to Know | San Diego Estate Attorney

Hospice care offers comfort and support during a terminal illness, focusing on quality of life rather than curative treatment. Hospice care does not prevent you from getting otherwise covered treatments for conditions not related to your terminal illness. While it’s often associated with end-of-life situations, a hospice stay can last for months or even years. This highlights the importance of a flexible estate plan that addresses not only what happens after you pass but also the practicalities of your financial and personal life during an extended hospice journey.

Key Considerations for Hospice Planning

As you embark on an extended hospice journey, here are some essential elements to incorporate into your estate plan:

  • Powers of Attorney: Ensure you have updated and robust powers of attorney for healthcare and finances. In California a healthcare power of attorney is called an Advance Directive. Choose trusted individuals who understand and will follow your wishes and can take the time to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so.

  • Shifting Financial Needs: Your income and expenses are likely to change while on hospice. Your San Diego estate attorney can help you adjust your budget, secure appropriate benefits, and protect your assets for the long term.
  • Asset Accessibility: Review how your assets are held (e.g., joint accounts, trusts) to ensure funds are easily accessible for covering ongoing expenses. Your attorney can guide you to make the necessary updates for smoother management.

  • Updating Your Will or Trust: If you have an existing will or trust, it's time for a review. Ensure that your chosen beneficiaries are still the ones you want and that the distributions to them are under the terms and conditions you feel are best. You should also update your documents to address any new concerns that may arise moving forward through your extended hospice journey.

  • Planning for In-Home Care: If you prefer to remain at home, your estate plan should factor in the cost of care at home. This might involve home modifications, paying for caregivers, perhaps a care manager, and other expenses. A San Diego estate and eldercare lawyer can help you strategize.

The Importance of Professional Guidance

Navigating the legal and financial complexities of an extended hospice journey is challenging. An experienced San Diego estate lawyer can provide tailored advice and create a plan that adapts to your changing needs. This can offer peace of mind for you and your family during a difficult time.

If you have questions or need assistance getting started, we invite you to contact our law office today to ensure your plan supports your comfort and well-being throughout your hospice journey. Simply call 619-281-1888 to schedule your consultation.


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