Last Wills for the terminally ill

Photo by OC Gonzalez

It can be difficult to accept that you are reaching the end of your life. Finding out that your illness is terminal is a shocking experience. The initial disbelief may cloud your thinking, making it hard to act rationally. But once the dust has settled, it is important to consider putting your affairs in order.

Being terminally ill doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t make a will or make changes to your existing one. The key question here is whether or not your terminal illness affects your ability to make a will. For instance, an illness that results in dementia can rob you of this capacity before you die, making your will invalid and leaving important decisions about your care to the court.

Myend is here to help you navigate the murky landscape of estate planning.

But do I really need a Will?

Yes! Most Americans do not have a last will or any other form of estate planning arranged for when they pass. Thinking about your death can be very confronting so unfortunately people tend to avoid addressing such topics. When diagnosed with terminal illness though, you don’t get the same luxury of procrastinating or ignoring these issues. 

Or maybe you already have a will and your terminal diagnosis is revealing another confronting truth: your last will and testament doesn’t represent your current wishes anymore. Needless to say that we highly recommend you to create a will in any case. 

Is my Will valid if I’m terminally ill?

In short, yes – probably. Your will needs to meet certain criteria in any case in order to be legally binding. Otherwise a court is not going to regard it during the probate process. Most states require at least two witnesses at the signing of your will.

Additionally they are very clear about the fact that you need to be of sound mind and under no influence. In simple words, you need to be mentally there so your words can carry their full weight. 

We already discussed that experiencing profound mental decline is most probably going to be an issue if you plan to create or modify a last will. Another example is receiving very strong medication that may alter your state of mind. When it comes to drafting and signing your will, you need mental and emotional clarity. And your witnesses will have to confirm that too by singing your will. 

In most cases people will be able to meet these criteria, unless they’re too far gone. After all, your terminal illness should not be an obstacle to make a will, but instead the reason you do it.

Does that include deathbed wills too?

Feeling overwhelmed at the idea of passing away is normal. However, the silver lining with certain terminal illnesses is that you know that the end is near so you can prepare yourself for that. 

That is why you can avoid having a so-called deathbed will. Deathbed wills are exactly what they sound like: wills that you craft very close to your passing. These are often hard to legitimize because you may not have witnesses nearby or adequate mental capacity. Technically speaking, many states will accept these wills if they are crafted and signed under the right circumstances. 

Why not take control of your own destiny in advance, though? Myend believes in empowerment and preserving your legacy. That’s why we propose that everyone should have their own will – and you’re here with solutions too.

Benefits of having a Will as terminally ill

Having a life limiting illness has an immense impact on your physical and emotional state. Knowing that the end is near is a very personal experience and can vary from horrifying to liberating. 

As a result, the first – and obvious – reason why you should have a will as a terminal patient is for practical reasons.

You know that the end is near and now is your change to make that last minute change and include a friend you forgot. Or exclude an estranged grandchild. In case you have no will, it’s extremely important that you make one. If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones.

This is probably going to be one of your last chances to show them love and affection by including them in your will. Moreover, this is going to make your family’s life much easier once you’re gone. Reducing probate duration and having the certainty of knowing what your final wishes were, can be of immense help and importance to your family. 

Your quality of life and proper health care should be your priorities when your illness is terminal. Let us take care of the rest!

Myend comes to the rescue

As an ill person, you may have to interact with family members, doctors and nurses. Adding meetings with lawyers and complex legal procedures on top of that probably doesn’t sound like a particularly attractive idea to you right now. 

But what if we told you that you can create your Last Will from the comfort of your bed without ever having to leave your room or pay expensive fees to lawyers? With Myend’s free e-will and extensive Last Will, you can! Use your tablet, phone or computer to sign up for free and simply explore which services work best for you.

We mentioned before that creating your will can be your final gift of affection to family and friends. That is not entirely true though. We, here at Myend, find it important that you can leave behind exactly the kind of legacy that you feel better represents you. 

That is why we have introduced our Last Goodbye service, making it easy for you to leave messages to your loved ones even after you die. Myend firmly believes that no one can share your story with the world better than you. That is why we are also offering this service both in written and video form.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how important it is to have a will when facing a terminal diagnosis there’s something else we want to address so a final reminder. Time is a luxury and being able to spend it with your loved ones is the best way to make lasting memories. That’s why all of our services are easy and particularly quick to use.

Navigating Terminal Illness

Download our Guide with 10 tips for those dealing with a terminal illness, or for loved ones supporting someone who is terminally ill.

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Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.