What does the word incapacity mean to you? Do you assume it’s something you only have to concern yourself with later in life?
While incapacity may be more common in older individuals, keep in mind that it can happen to anyone. For example, if you’re injured in a serious motor vehicle accident, you may be incapacitated to the point of not being able to make your own decisions.
Incapacity planning is important for everyone, as it gives you peace of mind in knowing that your affairs will be managed in the appropriate manner, even if you’re unable to take action.
Here’s a passage from our website explaining this in greater detail:
Although Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related conditions certainly can cause incapacity, the possibility of becoming incapacity is not limited to the elderly. A catastrophic car accident, a debilitating illness, or a serious workplace injury could render you incapacitated tomorrow. In fact, just over one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
Now that you understand the importance of incapacity planning, it’s time to address a variety of questions related to this aspect of your estate plan. Here are several that call for your immediate attention:
- Who do you want to make health care and financial decisions for you in the event of incapacity?
- Do you have a legally binding plan in place to ensure that this person is in a position to take over?
- How will you outline your wishes so that this person knows what you want?
- Have you organized your finances in a manner that would be easy for someone to manage in the event of your incapacity?
- Have you discussed your incapacity plan with the person you’ve named to manage your affairs?
As you answer these questions, you’ll come to find that there are many options available to you. For example, you can create a durable financial power of attorney that allows you to name an agent. This person is responsible for managing your finances, such as paying your bills and taxes, if you’re incapacitated.
Without a clearly defined incapacity plan, you’ll never be able to answer the above questions. Subsequently, a judge may have to answer them for you, and that doesn’t guarantee that everything works out how you would hope.
If you have questions or concerns about incapacity planning and/or related subject matter, contact us to set up a consultation with an experienced attorney.