Planning for incapacitation: What to expect

On Behalf of | May 16, 2022 | Elder Law

As you get older, one thing that may become apparent to you is that no one lives forever. Everyone is at risk of getting seriously hurt, becoming incapacitated or living with a disability.

It’s important for you to plan for the potential for incapacity in your estate plan. Your estate plan can help you protect yourself as well as the people you care about by discussing your personal wishes, providing important guidance on who you want to have care for you and more.

Using your will and trust to plan for incapacity

It is possible to plan for incapacity with your will and trust. One of the things you will want to do first is to choose your financial power of attorney and health care POA. The financial power of attorney grants one person (or more, if you select multiple people) to take care of your finances if you cannot do so on your own any longer. The health care power of attorney appoints a person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself.

It’s also possible to use a living trust to make it possible for a trustee to gain immediate control of your assets if you’re incapacitated. This is important, because it allows someone to step in right away without having to go through a long process to begin to help you with your finances.

Prepare to go over your estate plan to create the right protections

Every person is different, which is why it’s necessary to go over your wishes with your attorney as you build your estate plan.

For some people, it may make sense to have one person assigned as a financial power of attorney and another as a health care power of attorney. For others, having multiple people work together in these roles or a single person hold both may make more sense.

It’s worth adding, at the very least, your wishes for your care if you are incapacitated. Doing this will help guide your family in the case that you are hurt or too sick and can’t tell them what you want them to know in the future.