Estate planning is more than just planning for what happens after death. Though it is less often discussed, planning for incapacitation is essential. It is possible for a person to suffer from an incapacitating illness or injury that may leave them mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions at some point in their life. Without an estate plan that provides for these possibilities, this can mean an inability to act that will force additional wasted time, expenses, and stress on your family. Thorough incapacitation planning can determine what decisions will be made and who can make decisions on your behalf in times like these, providing peace of mind and security to you and your loved ones.
Choice of Guardian
Incapacitation planning can ensure that you have the choice of who will make life-changing decisions on your behalf in the event that you become mentally unable to make decisions for yourself, your estate, or your healthcare. In the absence of prior planning, the courts will decide who makes these decisions, and they will not always choose the person who you would want to be in control of these extremely important decisions. Not only will this waste valuable time and cause your loved ones undue stress, but it will become needlessly expensive: court costs, attorneys’ fees, and other expenses could come out of your estate, creating an expense far greater than the cost of preemptively drafting a preventative incapacitation plan.
End of Life Care
Incapacitation planning can allow you to make decisions for your end of life medical treatment. This can include plans for blood transfusions, organ donation, life support, end of life, and burial. It is important that you plan for these possibilities in advance because you may be unable to make your wishes known at the time these decision needs to be made. Without legal documentation, those responsible may be unable to make these types of decisions, so failure to include incapacitation planning in your estate plan may leave your wishes unfulfilled, even if you have made them known to your loved ones.
How Can I Plan For Incapacitation?
There are a number of strategies which can be used to alleviate the stress that comes with incapacitation. Estate planning attorneys can draft medical and general Powers of Attorney that will allow you to choose who is able to make decisions on your behalf, and can ensure that your estate planning documents provide for the possibility of incapacitation. A discussion with an estate planning attorney can determine which combination of these strategies is best suited to your unique situation.
We Can Help
An estate plan is not complete if it does not provide for what will happen in case of incapacitation. At Bailey Law Firm, we have the skills and knowledge necessary to create a personalized estate plan that provides for possible eventualities. If you would like to meet with one of our attorneys to discuss your estate plan, please contact us with any questions by clicking here or by calling our office at 832.510.2900 to schedule a complimentary consultation.