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How your race could play a role in your health care plan

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan. It's a joke some of our Brevard County readers may have heard in their lifetime and even cracked a smile at. That's because most people across our state understand how unpredictable life can be at times. Though you may feel fine one day, things can change in a heartbeat.

This is why so many financial and estate planning experts insist that people look at their estate plans as soon as they have reason to -- like for the sake of their spouse or children. That's because nobody knows if today might be their last and few people want to leave a legal headache behind for their loved ones in the end.

As our more frequent readers already know, an estate plan should contain more than just a will though. Because the risk of serious illness or disease rises as we get older, any good estate plan should also prepare for the fact that you may require extensive medical attention down the road. But whether you decide to plan on receiving Medicaid or take out long-term health insurance, we suggest that our Melbourne readers consider their race as a factor that could have a huge impact on estate plans.

Consider for a moment people of African descent. Did you know that they are more likely than Caucasians to develop kidney disease in their lifetime? According to an article found on the Washington Post, blacks have a 1 in 140 chance of developing this disease that can cause considerable damage to the kidneys, resulting in organ transplants, life-long dialysis or even death in some cases.

Although black people are more likely to develop kidney disease, it's important to point out that this disease is indiscriminate of race or even age. So while one person might develop the disease later in life, someone else might develop it earlier. Despite this unpredictability, a person may still want to make plans for their long-term care now, especially if kidney disease could be in their future. Making plans now will make sure that your loved ones don't have to down the road.

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