New ABA publication

Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill

2010 February

The onset of a serious illness or injury can affect much more than a person’s health. Knowing what steps to take to get one’s financial and legal affairs in order is often vitally important not only to the affected individual, but to his or her loved ones as well.

The Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill – a project by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging commissioned by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – was designed for both the seriously ill individual and those caring for someone who is seriously ill.

The recently released guide addresses societal issues that have gained prominent media attention in recent years, such as paying for health care, managing health and personal decisions, and patient rights. In addition, the Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill sheds light on recent legislative and regulatory changes, such as the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provides a 35 percent subsidy of the COBRA premium for up to nine months.

“The Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill is a great resource for anyone facing a serious illness. The book provides critical tools that help readers understand their options, make informed decisions, and minimize some of the anxiety they may be feeling about their financial and legal affairs at this stage of life,” said ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm.

J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO added, “Hospice and palliative care organizations are frequently asked for information regarding end-of-life planning and decision-making. This guide will be a tremendous resource to them as well as faith communities, caregiver organizations, aging service providers, hospitals and others who work to support people living with a serious illness.”

The book is available online at http://www.caringinfo.org/UserFiles/File/PDFs/AdvanceCarePlanningLegalIssues/Legal_Guide_for_Seriously_Ill.pdf.

           

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