The number of Americans who have chronic illnesses is on the rise and is expected to increase from more than 130 million to roughly 157 million by the year 2020. Approximately 25% of people from 65 to 74 years old in Connecticut and across the country have been impacted by chronic diseases. The percentage of people who are affected by chronic conditions increases sharply as people get older. The presence of a chronic illness in a person’s life can complicate estate planning and should be addressed in planning documents.
Most estate planning instruments can be customized by a lawyer to meet the needs and goals of the client. Those who have a chronic illness might consider having a living will. A living will is a document that sets forth the healthcare wishes of the person, including end-of-life care. A person who has a chronic illness might want his or her living will to explain the specific illness. The document should also give broad instructions not related to the chronic condition.