For updated COVID-19 precautions and FAQs, please click here for more information.

Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

The Importance of Early Estate Planning for Those with Degenerative Diseases

June 5, 2012

Estate planning attorneys in Fair Oaks have to walk a careful line with clients. After all, no one really wants to think about their own death. These conversations can get even trickier when working with clients who have degenerative diseases. Elder lawyers face this a lot with clients who are in the earlier stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

It’s Not Just the Elderly

But many younger clients also need to come to terms with their own health issues and what they need to do on an estate planning level in order to make sure their families are protected as their disease continues to advance. For example, a client who has recently been diagnosed with MS may be feeling strong and well right now and therefore doesn’t see the need to plan for when things are not going as well.

Putting It Off

There are plenty of reasons that those with degenerative diseases don’t jump into estate planning as early as they should. You can’t discount the desire to simply ignore the problem, for one thing. Another common reason is that it seems like an unnecessary expense when you’re healthy. Unfortunately, the cost of not being prepared becomes so much more of a burden if and when the disease begins to progress.

One of the main costs associated with putting off working with an estate planning attorney in Fair Oaks is that of unexpected medical bills. Not only are there treatments, doctors’ and specialists’ appointments, and pharmacy costs; but there is also a potential need for a healthcare worker. While family members typically want to do as much as they can to help, the need for a home healthcare worker or aide often cannot be avoided. These costs mount so quickly, and if you don’t have a plan in place before the medical expenses start rolling in, they can get out of hand and destroy your family’s finances.

Another important cost is that of your family’s comfort. Obviously, going bankrupt or constantly struggling to pay bills puts a huge strain on families, and when that is compounded by the grief of watching a loved one suffer, things can start getting even more difficult. Now, add to that the need to make medical decisions on your behalf, and the situation can become nearly intolerable.

It’s Time to Step Up

Many of these issues can be lessened or avoided altogether by sitting down with an estate planning attorney before you get to the point where you feel like you “need” to. This professional will help you protect your family’s assets from medical costs, for example.  He or she will also guide you through the process of setting up a living will and medical directives, relieving your family from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf. Not only does it make a difference to them, but it also means that you have your say in what kind of care and treatment you will receive.

If you have been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, no matter what your age, it is time to meet with an estate planning attorney in Sacramento. It’s the responsible thing to do, and even though it may be uncomfortable, it really does mean that you can save so much difficulty in the future for both yourself and your family.

Free Resources


I totally see the difference between your service and your typical legal estate planning service. The experience you mentioned where you get this big document you don’t understand and a trust that never gets funded was EXACTLY our first experience. It cost a small fortune too. Really - it is the difference between providing a legal document and providing an estate planning service.

As Seen On