June is Men’s Health Month, dedicated to raising awareness about health issues affecting men and encouraging early detection and treatment. This month, let’s turn the spotlight on you, gentlemen. While taking care of your health allows you to prolong and enhance your life, have you considered how your health directly impacts your future, your legacy, and your loved ones?

The Link Between Your Health and Estate Planning

When you think of estate planning, you probably envision wills, trusts, and other legal paperwork. However, these documents are merely byproducts of a more profound process. Estate planning is about ensuring your wishes are honored if you become incapacitated, allowing you to live and die with dignity. It’s about making sure your loved ones are cared for, avoiding the pain and expense they might face if you have no plan in place. Estate planning supports your loved ones in grieving peacefully rather than enduring a lengthy and costly court process to settle your affairs.

Estate planning is also about leaving a legacy. Contrary to the belief that legacy is only about money and reserved for the wealthy, it’s actually about the impact you make on those you hold dear. Organizing your affairs now, so your loved ones aren’t left with a mess later, is part of your legacy. Clearly showing your love for your family is a legacy in itself.

How Does Health Connect to Estate Planning?

Your physical health significantly shapes your future preparations and estate plan. While mental, emotional, and spiritual health are important, let’s focus on the direct link between physical health and estate planning. Prioritizing your physical health not only helps you enjoy life with more ease but also simplifies your estate planning.

Longevity and Retirement Savings: Your health affects your lifespan, which in turn impacts how long your retirement savings need to last. Good physical health can mean a longer life, requiring a more comprehensive plan for your assets.

Healthcare Decisions: The potential need for long-term care due to conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia should be considered in your estate plan. It’s crucial to ensure you’re financially prepared for these possibilities and to clearly state how you wish to be cared for if you can’t make decisions yourself. A healthcare power of attorney or a living will should be part of your plan, designating someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.

Disability and Its Impact: Poor health can lead to disability, affecting your ability to manage your affairs. Including a disability clause in your estate plan ensures your assets are managed according to your wishes, even if you can’t oversee them personally. A revocable living trust can be particularly useful here, allowing your chosen person or entity to manage your affairs without court intervention.

Practical Steps to Integrate Health and Estate Planning

It’s never too late or too early to take action. Here are practical steps you can take now:

Schedule Regular Check-Ups: Regular medical examinations are vital for early illness detection and provide a clear picture of your health, crucial for accurate estate planning.

Update Your Estate Plan Regularly: As your health changes, so should your estate plan. Make it a habit to review and update your plan regularly or whenever there is a significant change in your health.

Discuss Your Plans Openly: Talk with your family about your healthcare wishes and how they relate to your estate plan. This courageous step can reduce the likelihood of family conflict and ensure your preferences for end-of-life care are known.

Consult a Professional: Work with an estate planning professional who keeps your best interests and your loved ones’ best interests in mind. They can help you create a plan that preserves family bonds and avoids court conflicts.

How We Support You and Your Loved Ones

As a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm, we understand the connection between your physical health and estate planning needs. Our commitment extends beyond legal documentation to ensuring your life’s work and values are preserved with dignity and clarity. By understanding your health challenges and opportunities, we tailor estate plans that protect your assets and well-being, ensuring your family’s future.

This Men’s Health Month, take a proactive step toward safeguarding your legacy and enhancing your peace of mind. Contact us to learn how our Life & Legacy Planning® process can align your health priorities with your estate planning goals. Use the form on this page to schedule your own 15-minute consultation.

This article is a service of The Life and Legacy Law Center, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Life & Legacy Planning® Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life & Legacy Planning Session.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.