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Estate Planning: Be prepared for the unexpected
Estate planning

Estate Planning: Be prepared for the unexpected

This is another of those "you never know so you had better be prepared columns." Just thought I’d warn you before you get too into it.

My story starts last Monday when my son, Logan, called us to let us know that he wasn’t feeling well. Logan is a freshman at Northern Illinois University. Of my three sons, Logan is the least likely one to complain about not feeling good. If he isn’t well, he quietly crawls into bed to sleep it off. Occasionally, he’ll yell out the score of a game, but for the most part, you won’t know when he’s feeling a little off.

Because he isn’t nearly the hypochondriac that one of his brothers is, I was a little concerned. We talked, and he said that we didn’t need to get up there and he didn’t feel bad enough to come home. Just a bad headache and a fever. My initial thought was COVID, but he had already made it to the medical center and tested negative.

By Friday, he still wasn’t feeling better and had a teleconference with a physician. Her diagnosis was viral meningitis. He immediately got himself to the emergency room and received treatment. He was severely dehydrated.

Fortunately, viral meningitis is not the really bad kind, and his prognosis is good. Just need to let it run its course and treat the headaches and fever. Even though he really wasn’t well, he still didn’t want to come home. We finally convinced him when we called him from the parking lot of his dorm and told him to grab some clothes and his laundry because he was coming with us.

He's currently in his room resting.

Here is the point, folks. Logan is 19 years old and is a big strong kid. He’s over 6 feet tall and solid. Nothing slows him down. He’s the kind of person that no one expects to get his butt kicked by a virus.

Although all of our kids are healthy, we had each of them sign a power of attorney and a health care representative designation when they turned 18. Just in case.

That planning really worked out as my wife was able to speak with the doctors and find out what was happening and what treatment was being considered. Because we planned, we were able to be involved in what is a fairly stressful time. By planning, we were able to avoid a lot of the confusion that occurs when someone you love becomes ill.

I know that I say this a lot, but this stuff is important. Planning is like an insurance policy that you hope you’ll never need. However, it’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Trust me.

Thanks to the folks at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital for taking care of my kid. You guys are the best.

Christopher W. Yugo is an attorney in Crown Point. Chris’ Estate Planning Article appears online every Sunday at www.nwi.com. Address questions to Chris in care of The Times, 601 W. 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321 or to Chrisyugolaw@gmail.com. Chris’ information is meant to be general in nature. Specific legal, tax, or insurance questions should be referred to your attorney, accountant, or estate-planning specialist.

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