Incapacity planning is an often-overlooked reason to create an Estate Plan because many people associate estate planning with end of life circumstances. Estate planning does pertain to end of life circumstances. But, Estate Planning also helps us prepare for issues unrelated to end of life circumstances. Generally, a person is incapacitated when he or she is no longer able to make decisions, either financial or medical, for themselves. Effective Estate Planning can help people plan for the possibility of incapacity.
With proper planning, incapacity can be more easily managed. Two documents are especially important when planning for incapacity: Advanced Directive and Durable Power of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so on your own. These decisions can be as simple as paying bills or as complex as selling property. Durable Powers of Attorney can be customized to your specific circumstances and wishes.
An advanced directive is a document that instructs physicians and other medical professionals as to your wishes for end of life circumstances. The advanced directive prevents your family and your medical professionals from having to guess what your wishes were.
Execution of these two documents is a great reason to review or create an estate plan. Contact Elwell and Spain today to begin the conversation.