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End-of-life Planning for the terminally ill

Even if one is determined to prove their doctors wrong and beat the odds when told that one’s illness is  terminal, it would be wise to prepare for the worst.  Getting your affairs in order will prepare you for the financial hardships that inevitably come when being treated for a terminal illness.  It will also give you and your loved ones some peace of mind knowing that your estate will be settled with as little trouble possible should you pass.

Here are some important things to do in order to prepare for the challenges ahead:

  • Have one folder with all the documents your executor will need such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, will, and financial assets information (e.g. account names and passwords)
  • Inquire as to the amount of recurring payments you will receive from both short-term and long-term disability insurance to help you plan ahead
  • Learn the IRS rules for 401k hardship withdrawals (http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Hardship-Distributions#1)
  • Consider if a reverse mortgage is appropriate for your situation
  • Create a will or modify it as necessary if you already have one.
  • Have “Durable Power of Attorney” and “Medical Power of Attorney” documents written to identify the person you want to handle your financial affairs and medical affairs respectively should you become incapacitated
  • Investigate the purchase of a guaranteed life insurance policy which provides guaranteed coverage even for those who have been diagnosed with serious illnesses such as cancer, and HIV/AIDS in the past five years.  Click here to find helpful information about guaranteed life insurance.