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The Importance of Estate Planning in Light of Health Changes Even if You’re Not King

Posted by James Burns | Jan 18, 2024 | 0 Comments

Recent news reports that King Charles III suffers from an enlarged prostate serve as an important reminder for all adults to keep their estate plans up-to-date, especially when faced with new health issues. Just as the British monarch is addressing his condition, residents in Aliso Viejo, California and beyond should reevaluate their plans after any major health diagnosis.

Estate planning is essential for spelling out your wishes in case of incapacity or death. But when your health situation changes, it may be time to review and revise your current documents. An enlarged prostate like King Charles' can cause various complications, including increased urgency to urinate, trouble emptying the bladder, and urinary tract infections. If any complications were to impair the king's ability to govern, provisions are in place for his son Prince William to serve as a stand-in.

For ordinary citizens, new health problems can also make it difficult to carry out your normal financial and legal duties. Without an updated estate plan, your family could face a messy court conservatorship process to gain authority over your finances and healthcare. That's why having legally binding documents like powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives are so crucial.

A living trust can be a very useful estate planning tool, especially for California residents who want to avoid probate. With a revocable living trust, you transfer ownership of your assets to be managed by the trust while you're still living. You can serve as your own trustee to maintain control. Upon incapacity or death, your named successor trustees then step in to manage the trust assets directly for beneficiaries, avoiding probate court.

If you are diagnosed with a serious condition like prostate disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's, or other chronic illnesses, you should immediately review your living trust and other estate planning documents to make any necessary changes. Here are some steps to take:

·         Update your financial power of attorney to name an agent who can manage your finances if you become incapacitated. Select someone you trust fully who is organized and responsible with money matters.

·         Designate or update your healthcare power of attorney and living will. Appoint an agent who can discuss medical options with your doctors and make decisions when you no longer can.

·         Make sure your will and trust are updated so your assets are distributed as you intend, especially if you have minor children who may now need more financial protection.

·         Review the beneficiary designations on all your accounts to confirm they align with your estate plan. Update them if needed.

·         Communicate your wishes clearly to your family members and estate planning attorney.

·         Be sure your doctors have copies of your healthcare POA and living will on file.


Proper estate planning can give you peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be provided for according to your wishes. The attorneys at Law Office of James Burns have extensive experience creating customized plans for California residents, including living trusts. Don't delay taking action if your health situation changes - call their office today to review your estate plan. With an up-to-date plan in place, you can face medical challenges with greater confidence.

(949) 305-8642 Call and book your appointment today. 

About the Author

James Burns

Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business and Real Estate Transactions, nutraceutical Law and franchising:


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