There are many reasons why someone may want to devise their estate plan. Perhaps they are wanting to protect assets and ensure that those they love receive a piece of their legacy that can be passed down to future generations. Or they may have just been diagnosed with an illness and want to get their affairs in order. There are limitless factors that can contribute to someone becoming sick. For instance, someone who is diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition later in life because of working with asbestos material may be motivated to solidify their end of life wishes through establishing a legally-binding documentation, like an estate plan. 


The initial signs of asbestos exposure typically involve the lungs. This is because asbestos mainly causes lung-related disease, but it can cause illness in other areas of the body too, such as the stomach, throat, and colon. The most common signs of exposure to asbestos are chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath. Additionally, pleural plaques may be a sign that someone sustained enough exposure to be vulnerable to other diseases, which may have developed before a lung cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis. Other symptoms related to asbestos exposure include:


  • Crackling sound when breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dry cough
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural effusion
  • Respiratory complications
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clubbed fingers
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Hernia 
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Pelvic pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal distention and swelling


It is estimated that 20% of people who have worked with asbestos are going to develop an asbestos-related illness. Those who have been heavily exposed receive an asbestos disease diagnosis at an even higher rate. There are many factors that can contribute to someone having an asbestos-related disease, such as how long they worked with the material and the concentration of the asbestos fibers inhaled. But most people who get sick from asbestos exposure had worked with it for their career. Employers have a duty to provide workers with sufficient protection so that they do not develop serious illness down the road. An employer may be liable through a personal injury lawsuit for how a former employee had suffered later in life due to asbestos exposure in the workplace.


As a D.C. asbestos lawyer at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. explains, if you or someone you care about was diagnosed with an asbestos caused mesothelioma or other condition, you may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer so that you don’t endure financial hardship in addition to dealing with the illness itself. Depending on the cause or your mesothelioma, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Regardless of the cause, an estate planning lawyer can help you to get your affairs in order so that you can have at least that peace of mind. 


If you have found yourself in an awful situation of dealing with an asbestos-related diagnosis, it may be scary to imagine a time when you are not here with loved ones, but having your affairs in order can provide some relief while you continue to take care of yourself. Having an estate plan in place can give you that peace of mind that victims of serious illness do not expect. 

Aaron De Bruin

Aaron De Bruin is an Estate Planning and Criminal Defense attorney serving Greenville, SC and the surrounding upstate. Aaron fights for the rights of every one of his clients works hard to make sure they are treated fairly – no matter how small or large a legal case may be.