Three Tips When Special Needs Planning For A Loved One With Multiple Sclerosis

Do you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?If so, it can be important that you enlist the help of an experienced attorney and engage in special needs planning so that you can help ensure your loved one is well cared for in the event such care is needed.

Power of Attorney. Encourage your loved one to execute a power of attorney designating an agent to act on his or her behalf and manage his or her financial affairs in the event the MS advances to the point where your loved one becomes temporarily or permanently unable to do so for himself or herself. The power of attorney can provide the agent with specific directives and authorities regarding how your loved one would want affairs handled so that any guesswork may be eliminated. Establishing a durable power of attorney means that the power granted by the document will survive incapacitation of the principal.

Health Care Surrogate and Living Will. Your loved one should also execute a health care surrogate and Living Will to outline healthcare wishes and designate an agent to make healthcare decisions in accordance with those wishes in the event he or she is unable to communicate directly with his or her doctors. A living will outlines end of life care preferences in the event of a terminal stage situation. A health care surrogate designates a trusted individual to make health care decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual.

Financial Planning. Living with MS can be complicated and expensive. It can be important to enlist the help of experienced professionals, including an attorney, to help plan for the long term care of your loved one with MS. An experienced attorney can help set up a trust or other vehicle that will enable your loved one to make the best use of available finances while still qualifying for essential government benefits.

Although an MS diagnosis can feel stressful and overwhelming for you and your loved one, adequate planning will help you both feel more secure about the future. Our office is available to assist in establishing a comprehensive plan for your loved one with MS. Please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.