Not many of us like to think about it but it is important to plan for what happens if you become incapacitated which is one of the many possible situations and scenarios estate planning tools can help estate planners plan for. Knowing how to utilize those tools can help estate planners rest more easily that they have a plan in place if they become incapacitated at some point.
Estate planning for medical incapacity
If the estate planner becomes incapacitated and is unable to direct their own healthcare or medical treatment, there are a couple of estate planning documents they will want and should have to help them in that situation including:
- A power of attorney for medical care: a power of attorney for medical care designates a trusted individual to direct the estate planner’s medical care and treatment if they are unable to do so for themselves.
- Living will or advance healthcare directive: a living will or advance healthcare directive is a document that specifies the types of medical treatment and care the estate planner does not wish to receive or does wish to receive. It can address important healthcare issues such as resuscitation and other end-of-life medical treatment and care concerns.
Estate planning for financial incapacity
If the estate planner is incapacitated and a rendered unable to direct their own financial affairs, a durable power of attorney can help. Estate planners should consider including a power of attorney for financial affairs in their estate plan for this reason. It will designate a trusted individual to direct and handle their financial fairs if they are unable to do so.
Estate planning tools can help keep estate planners protected during difficult or challenging times. Knowing how estate planning documents can help estate planners prepare for incapacity, should it arise, is valuable information to have.