DEFINITION of 'Terminally Ill'

A person who is sick and is diagnosed with a disease that will take their life. This person is usually told by doctors that they only have several months or years to live. Terminally ill people are generally not eligible to buy health or life insurance because of the high liability this situation presents insurance companies.

BREAKING DOWN 'Terminally Ill'

Terminally ill patients have usually been given treatments that either no longer help or their situation is so severe that no further treatment will help. Persons with life threatening illnesses who make gifts are said to make a distribution from their estate. It is extremely important that terminally ill individuals have a will in place upon their death.

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