All mesothelioma patients hope for remission. They want to rid their bodies of this horrible sickness, one which claims around 3,000 American lives each year. So the patients seek the best treatment possible, endure the unpleasant side effects and strive for a full recovery.
All mesothelioma patients hope for the best. However, they should plan for the worst.
If you have mesothelioma, creating a will is one of the most important objectives to complete following your diagnosis. A will is a legal document that communicates your wishes to your loved ones and the government. By making a will, you protect your family for the days, months and years following your death.
What Is a Will?
In short, a will details the distribution of assets following your death. Assets could include money, land, properties, businesses or valuable objects (such as jewelry). If your children are minors and have no surviving parents, you can also use the will to appoint their guardians.
If you do not create a will, then the state in which you live will disburse your assets per its laws. Your loved ones have no say in how much — if any — assets they receive. Neither do you, even if you’ve verbally expressed your wishes.
Having control over asset distribution is largely why everyone should create a will. However, the importance of this task heightens for mesothelioma patients.
Why Mesothelioma Patients Need a Will
If you are a mesothelioma patient, you likely understand the nature of this disease. We at Mesothelioma Guide want every person with this condition to live on for many years. However, we also know that isn’t reality — and preparations are a must.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease. Most people with the pleural type don’t even live more than one year following their diagnosis. Even fewer victims reach the two- or three-year mark.
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients have a better prognosis — but the one- and two-year mortality rates are still high. Due to the short lifespan associated with this disease, victims should ensure they leave their loved ones situated legally.
Added Importance of a Will: Executor of Estate
Part of the process when creating a will is designating an executor (if male) or executrix (if female) of the estate. This person is in charge of carrying out the instructions in the will. However, since there are legal ramifications to mesothelioma, the executor or executrix of your estate assumes another critical role.
This person also becomes the plaintiff in your mesothelioma lawsuit should you pass before a resolution occurs. Due to the disease’s aggressiveness — and the length of legal proceedings — many patients pass away before a settlement is reached, verdict handed down or trust fund claim processed.
If this happens to you, the executor or executrix of your estate can fulfill your legal wishes and hold the responsible parties for your mesothelioma accountable. Doing so can also ensure that person — and all other surviving loved ones — receive the financial compensation needed to cover costs associated with treatment, funeral and lost wages.
How to Create a Will
If you haven’t yet made a will, contact a lawyer. Don’t try to go through the post-diagnosis process without expert assistance. Some attorneys specialize in creating and executing a will, and these professionals can help you and your family prepare for the worst-case scenario.
If you’d like help with other aspects of the post-diagnosis process, including how to make a will or file legal claims regarding your mesothelioma, contact Mesothelioma Guide. We have a staff of professionals who are knowledgeable in both the legal and medical areas related to this disease. Carl Jewett, our patient and veterans advocate, is available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and can refer you to a lawyer who specializes in creating a will.
Show Sources & Author
- What Is a Will?. Fidelity. Retrieved from: https://www.fidelity.com/life-events/estate-planning/will. Accessed: 06/04/19.