Incapacity planning is an estate planning need that is often overlooked. Many people assume that they will never have a medical emergency, so they decide not to plan ahead. Take a look at the following information, to better understand incapacity planning. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss your planning options, contact an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.
Staying in Control with Incapacity Planning
Incapacity planning makes it possible for you to have control over your affairs, even when you’re unable to communicate your needs or make decisions. With a written and legally valid plan in place, you can authorize others to offer assistance, so that there is no court interference, which is a total loss of control.
Execute Powers of Attorney
You may choose to create a financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney, known in California as an Advance Health Care Directive. These documents allow you to appoint agents who will be responsible for assisting you, during any period of incapacity. This is not a place to cut corners. Avoid the temptation to download a boilerplate power of attorney you may find on the Internet. Many of these documents are inad
- Financial Power of Attorney: This means that your finances will remain order, so that your bills are paid because your agent has access to your money and the authority to act on your behalf.
- Medical Power of Attorney (Advance Health Care Directive): Your medical (or health care) power of attorney authorizes a trusted helper to assist you, by making important medical decisions regarding your care.
Without the right plan in place, you will have no control; and, neither does your family! That’s right; your own family won’t be able to help you! They will have to go to court to have you deemed incapacitated and have a conservator appointed. It may not be whom you would want; it may even be a stranger.
If you don’t have up-to-date powers of attorney in place, consult with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.