Originally appeared in Estate Planning, a Thomson Reuters publication. Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting.
Why does an estate planner need to understand the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? Because, according to various estimates, 12 million Americans are living with COPD and more than another 12 million are estimated to be living with COPD and remain undiagnosed. Other estimates place the number of Americans living with a chronic lung disease at closer to 35 million. That is nearly a tenth of the population. Futhermore, COPD is typically diagnosed after age 40, so the portion of the estate planning clients living with COPD is substantially greater. COPD is one of the most common lung diseases and has a profound impact on the clients living with it, their families, loved ones, and caregivers. Estate, financial, and related planning for the substantial number of clients touched by COPD should take into account how COPD affects their lives, their health and their finances.
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