When creating an estate plan, it’s important to implement incapacity planning. As you go throughout life, you will take part in many adventures (and misadventures). You never know what medical emergencies may occur. It’s important to have a plan in place, so that you and your assets are protected. Take a look at the following information, to better understand the need for incapacity planning.
In order to fully understand the importance of incapacity planning, ask yourself the following questions:
- What will happen if I become disabled tomorrow?
- Who will help make important medical decisions on my behalf?
- How will I handle my financial needs during incapacity?
- How will my bills get paid?
- Who will care for my children if I can’t?
- Who will care for my pets if I can’t?
- What are my beliefs about certain end of life treatments?
- Who would receive my property if I were to die tomorrow?
- How will my loved ones survive without my income?
- Do I want to avoid a guardianship proceeding?
- Do I want to maintain control or hand it over to the court?
With various estate planning tools, you can do the following:
- You can appoint a financial power of attorney agent to help make financial decisions on your behalf.
- You can appoint a health care agent to help make medical decisions on your behalf, as well as ensure that your medical needs are met.
- You can execute a HIPAA release so that medical professionals are authorized to communicate with your health care agents and other fiduciaries.
- You can utilize a living will to outline your wishes regarding end of life treatments, including life support.
- You can use a revocable living trust to ensure that your loved one’s will always be cared for, during your disability and after death.
If you have any questions, or if you’re ready to handle your incapacity planning affairs, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
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