A comprehensive estate plan will go beyond asset transfer vehicles. You also want to address the eventualities of aging. People are living longer and longer lives, and it becomes likely that you will live into your eighties if you are fortunate enough to reach the age of 65. The oldest segment of the population is growing faster than any other according to the Census Bureau.
Given the fact that longer lives are becoming common, incapacity planning is more and more important. If you reach an advanced age, you may become unable to make sound decisions on your own. The rise of Alzheimer’s disease alone is enough to make incapacity planning a must.
The Alzheimer’s Association is a good source of information on the disease. According to their website, 45 percent of people who are at least 85 have the disease. This disease causes dementia, and you are probably going to become unable to handle your affairs if you are suffering from dementia.
You can create a certain type of power of attorney called a durable power of attorney to protect yourself. This type of power of attorney would remain in effect, even if you become incapacitated. Many people will create two different durable powers of attorney: one for health care decision making, and another power of attorney to appoint a financial representative.
Now that we have explained why durable powers of attorney would be called for when you are planning your estate, we can address the question that serves as the title of this blog post. Since you do not know when or if you will become incapacitated, you would probably want your durable powers of attorney to become effective right after you create them. Of course, this could be disconcerting, because you would be giving the agents the power to act for you right away, even before your incapacitation.
For example, it is possible to execute springing durable powers of attorney. These powers would only go into effect if you were to become incapacitated. Incapacity is usually defined as being determined by a physician that you are not able to handle your affairs.
Incapacity Planning Consultation
If you would like to discuss incapacity planning with a licensed professional, send us a message through our contact page to request a consultation: Sacramento CA Incapacity Planning Attorneys.