When you are healthy you feel invincible, independent and less likely to feel sympathy for those that are ill. When you are healthy you go about your daily life; you work out, see your friends and family, enjoy the beautiful weather and ultimately just live.
However when you become ill, life stops and you begin to view life through a different lens. Everything and everyone continues to move around you at their regular pace, and you are left by yourself to deal with your own misery. You might have some friends and family 'check in' on you, but the reality is, you are left to deal with the pain and the slow process of getting better all by yourself.
It is not that your friends and family don't care about you, it's just that as humans, it is hard to put your life on hold to care for another when you yourself are healthy and have things you wish to do. Caring for another is somewhat a subconscious inconvenience.
What if it is not simply a common cold, but something more severe where you require assistance from others on a more permanent basis. For instance, you are incapable of 2 daily acts of living and require the help of a caregiver. Or worse, you have become mentally incompetent to care for yourself.
Don't assume that your spouse, your parents, or siblings will fill this role of caretaker for you (although you hope they would) The reality is, just because life has stopped for you because of your illness, if they are healthy and able bodied they still have their own life to live and worry about.
This is why it is so important to make sure you have your Advanced Directives in place while you are healthy and able to make the decision for yourself. That includes your Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and Living Will. You can even go so far as taking the burden away from your loved ones, by having a Long Term Care Insurance policy.
Durable Power of Attorney: Name someone to manage your financial affairs either immediately or in the future should you become unable to do so yourself.
Healthcare Surrogate: Name someone to act on your behalf if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.
Living Will: Document that will state how and if you want to prolong your life if you fall into a vegetative state
Long Term Care Insurance: Long-term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks (activities of daily living) by yourself due to chronic illness, injury or the aging process. Long-term care is not only for the elderly. A large percentage of people receiving long-term care are under the age of 65.
You need to have an open discussion with whomever you wish to fill those roles and make sure they want to take on that responsibility for you.
If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.