If you or a loved one is grappling with a recent cancer diagnosis, know that you are not alone. The American Cancer Society states that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women develop cancer during their lifetime. Even with this information, you may feel frustrated and helpless. There are things you can do to help gain some control over the situation. In addition to discussing medical treatment with your healthcare providers, you can also take control of other areas of your life.
As noted in a previous post, available here, estate planning can provide some level of comfort after a cancer diagnosis. Once you take that step, it is important to avoid common mistakes that can undo your hard work. Three of the more common include a lack of communication, organization, and a failure to address business interests.
Mistake #1: Failure to communicate.
Loved ones who argue over an estate plan are often coming from a good place. They may honestly believe that they are honoring your wishes. You can reduce the risk of an argument by communicating your wishes. Once your loved ones know what you want and what you are planning, they are less likely to challenge the plan.
Mistake #2: Lack of organization.
An estate plan is only helpful if you tell people where to find it. You may share the name of the attorney or have a safe deposit box with all relevant paperwork. However you wish to store the details of the plan, make sure that at least one loved one knows where to find it.
You can make things easier for your loved ones by having a list of insurance policies, investments, and other accounts. It is also helpful to organize passwords and log-in information for emails, social media accounts, and other online platforms.
Mistake #3: Forgetting to address business interests.
A thorough estate plan will also account for business interests. In addition to having the legal documents in order to set the business up for a smooth transition, it is also important to loop leadership into the conversation.
These are just a few things you can do to help take control when facing a cancer diagnosis.