B. Smith’s Story-How to Prepare for a Loved One’s Illness and subsequent Death

B. Smith

By Yolanda Spivey

Part 1

Recently, the world found out that legendary model and entrepreneur B. Smith is battling the advance stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  In an exclusive television interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” B. Smith talked about how the disease was negatively affecting her.  It was quite sad to see this once vibrant woman tell the CBS reporter that she didn’t know what day, month or year it was.

Alzheimer disease affects over 5 million Americans.  It’s a neurodegenerative disorder that causes plaque and tangles on the brain.  It eventually leads to dementia.  Currently, there is no cure for this disease and it worsens over time eventually leading to death.  In B. Smith’s case, her diagnosis is quite grave.  A cerebral scan taken at Mount Sinai hospital showed a significant buildup of amyloidal proteins and a great amount of shrinkage on her brain.

Although B. Smith can live for many more years to come with the proper care, she knows that the inevitable will happen.  When a loved one falls ill, preparation for their demise should be taken into consideration.

Here are 5 steps to prepare for your own or a loved one’s death:

Step #1:  POWER OF ATTORNEY– If you know in the near future you won’t be able to handle your affairs, it is important to appoint a family member, close friend or an attorney, the power of attorney.  Basically that person will manage your affairs for you when you can no longer do it yourself.

Step#2: WRITE A WILL– A last will and testament is so important and will layout everything you want done should you meet your demise.  A Living Will gives someone medical power of attorney to carry out your wishes regarding your medical treatments and other things.  A Living Will also spells out what needs to be done with any dependents you may have.  You can name a guardian who is in agreement to take care of them.

Step#3: PLAN FOR THE FUNERAL– This is the hardest thing to do—planning for your own funeral or the funeral of a loved one.  But it is necessary to spell out what you want done with your body.  Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want to write your own obituary?  How do you want to go out?

Step#4: INSURANCE– Make sure you have a life insurance policy in place that will take care of the funeral expenses.  You don’t want to leave this in the hands of loved ones who will be stressed out over losing you. You want to make sure that you are set up financially to cover the expenses.  The average cost of a funeral these days is between $12,000-$25,000, so ensure you have a policy large enough to meet this sum.  You may also want to take out enough insurance to financially cover the income lost to your spouse or children in your household.

Step#5: LONG-TERM CARE– Have you ever thought about what will happen if you’re unable to take care of yourself and you are forced to go into a nursing home?   Long-term care insurance is an insurance product that will help cover certain services that is not covered under your health insurance policy.  It can pay for a private nurse or home-care attendant and prevent you from going into a nursing home.

I will follow up with a second article on what to do when the inevitable actually does happen.  For more information on any of the insurance products listed above, please feel free to visit Michael Whitney & Associates, LLC.  In the interim, please take a look at the beautiful B. Smith discussing her struggles living with Alzheimer’s disease.


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