Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Estate Planning for Clients Suffering From Multiple Sclerosis & Parkinson's Disease

HealthRosalind Kalb, PhD, Nicholas LaRocca, PhD, Alessandro Di Rocco, MD, Mary Hughes, MD, and Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, JD, have written an outline-style article entitled Psychological and Emotional Impact of Chronic Illness on Estate Planning: Case Study Comparing and Contrasting Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

The article first outlines the definition and symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons's Disease, which is essential information for estate planners trying to relate to and work with people diagnosed with these illnesses. Next, the article outlines the emotional and cognitive issues that can arise when a person is suffering from one of these illnesses. Finally, the article outlines special considerations that arise when providing estate planning services to an individual suffering from Parkinson's or MS, such as:

  • Planning shorter meetings
  • Planning for the effects the illness has had on the client's ability to write
  • Recognizing that family members may be exerting undue influence on the client
  • Helping the client come to terms with the need for estate planning
  • Addressing special estate planning issues that might arise as the client's illness progresses
  • Paying attention to how a client's religious beliefs impact planning

The article concludes as follows:

With what will often prove a modest effort and time commitment, general estate planning can be tailored to provide considerable sensitivity, protection and even encouragement to those struggling with the challengesof chronic illness. We should invest our hearts and minds fully in the pursuit of helping those living with disease — simply because it is the compassionate and human thing to do.


Articles, Disability Planning - Health Care, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink

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