Why You Should Create a Will
Nicole Winch | February 25, 2020
A mesothelioma diagnosis can put significant stress on you and your family. Not only do you want to support them, you should also make sure they are protected if you pass away.
While all patients hope for remission and living for many years into the future, they should plan for the worst-case scenario.
As a mesothelioma patient, creating a will is an important action to take following your cancer diagnosis. This legal document ensures that your loved ones and the government follow your wishes. A will can give your family the financial stability they need for the years following your passing.
We at BCBH Law will explain what a will is and why you need one.
So, What Is a Will?
A will is a legal document outlining the distribution of assets following your death. Money, properties, land, businesses or other valuable objects could all be considered assets. If you have minor children that don’t have any other surviving parents, then a will can also delegate their guardians.
As per law, if you do not establish a will, then your state’s government will disperse your assets. Unfortunately, in this case, your family will have no say on how much they receive, if anything at all. Even if you verbally express your wishes, there is no guarantee unless it’s in writing and legally binding.
Being able to control your asset distribution is the most important reason for creating a will. As a mesothelioma patient, this task has even more significance.
Why Do You Need a Will?
Most patients fully understand the nature of their disease. Some people outlive their prognosis but unfortunately, that is not the case for all patients. Preparations should be made regardless.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease that affects about 3,000 Americans each year. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for 80% of all cases and most patients with this specific type of mesothelioma don’t live more than one year after their diagnosis. There are even fewer chances of people reaching the two- or three-year survival mark.
Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma tend to have longer life expectancies. However, mortality rates are still high with this type of mesothelioma.
Why Is a Will Important?
When you create a will, you are designating one person to be in charge of carrying out your wishes. This person is called the executor (if male) or the executrix (if female) and can also play a role in your mesothelioma legal process if needed.
If you pass away before a resolution occurs in your mesothelioma lawsuit, then your estate will become the plaintiff and the executor or executrix is the person who represents the estate. Your lawsuit becomes a wrongful death claim, and the executor or executrix will make decisions — hopefully on behalf of the claim and in the best interest of you and your loved ones.
Therefore, designate someone whom you trust. Many patients may pass away before their mesothelioma claim is resolved due to the aggressive nature of this disease and the length of legal proceedings.
The executor/executrix of your estate will be able to fulfill any legal obligations left unresolved and help your family get the much-needed financial compensation. Any money received can help offset the costs associated with treatment, funeral expenses and lost wages.
How Do You Create a Will?
The first step in creating a will is hiring a lawyer who specializes in this field. Making a will on your own can be overwhelming and stressful, so hiring a professional who can help you and your family prepare is ideal.
At BCBH Law, we can refer you to a lawyer who focuses on crafting and executing clients’ wills. If you need help filing a lawsuit or have any legal questions regarding your mesothelioma diagnosis, you can contact one of our experienced attorneys today.
- What Is a Will?Fidelity Retrieved from: https://www.fidelity.com/life-events/estate-planning/will/. Accessed: 06/04/19.