We’re guessing you don’t like to think about it – and – don’t like to talk about it, so we suggest you include incapacity planning in your estate plan and, then, move on to living your good life. Once you have protections in place for yourself and those you love, you can sleep well at night, focusing on good things.
Every estate plan needs to include incapacity planning (aka “disability planning”). Simple forms include powers of attorney for health care, day-to-day personal affairs, and business. More comprehensive forms of incapacity planning include trust planning.
- Healthcare Decisions and Control. Consider your health care for a moment. As long as you are able to provide informed consent, you will continue to make your own healthcare decisions. But if something happens and you can’t, even if it’s for a little bit, don’t you want to be the one who selects the person who will make those decisions on your behalf? Most folks do. We’ll show you how to use powers of attorney, HIPAA releases, and trust planning to keep you in control and protect yourself and those you love.
And then there’s life support machines and medical heroics. If you don’t want to be kept alive by machines for 15 years like Terri Schiavo, you need a living will.
- Financial Decisions and Control. And, if you can’t pay your bills and manage your day-to-day affairs, don’t you want to be the one who selects the person who takes over for you? If you don’t decide, the court will freeze your assets and make that decision. Your loved ones will have to go to court and pay attorney and court fees so someone can be appointed to take care of your tasks. Worst of all, the court has the power to appoint a stranger, who will charge significant fees and have access to your money, property, and bank accounts.
That person won’t give money to your spouse and children. His job will be to pay your bills and manage your money in your best interests, no one else’s. Your spouse will lose control of assets.
- Minor Children Decisions and Control. And, what about your minor children? Who’s authorized to care for them if you can’t?
We’ll help you get your disability plan in place – as part of your comprehensive estate plan – then – you can move through your life, knowing you were responsible and did the right thing. You protected yourself, those you love, and your assets. And don’t worry, incapacity planning is not as bad as it sounds.