Planning For Chronic Illness Is Not Just For The Elderly. A common misconception is that estate and financial planning for chronic illness is an elder law or elder abuse issue. This myth is not true. Martin Shenkman explained in an e-mail, “Sixty percent of those living with chronic illness are age 18-64. The characterization of all this planning as elder law or elder abuse makes it harder for those who are young and have chronic health issues to find help. Our society doesn’t focus on this situation.”

While some elderly experience chronic illness, it is not exclusive to them. Chronic illness can happen to any one of any age and proper estate planning just makes sense to protect you or a loved one now and in the future. With chronic illness somestimes comes incapacity, the inability to make decsions on ones own. In the case of becoming incapacitated, one will need a trusted representative to handle their financial and healthcare affairs. Proper estate planning can ensure that a persons wishes are met provided they become incapacitated and unable to decide for themselves.

Whether a person with a chronic illness is young, middle aged, or elderly, there is a need for proper estate planning at least at the simplest of levels. Powers of attorney can help one establish trusted personal representatives to help administer their affairs in case of incapacity. Because laws vary from state to state and upon different circumstances, it is wise to seek legal counsel when trying to establish powers of attorney and other estate planning documents.