Many people know that their estate planning process should address what happens to their possessions after they pass away. However, for many it is just as important to plan for what will happen if they become incapacitated by sickness or an accident. How can planning for incapacity offer you peace of mind?
A variety of documents can address your healthcare needs.
If you cannot make decisions about your own care, who would you want to make those decisions on your behalf? Establishing a health care power of attorney gives someone you trust the legal right to choose which medical procedures you undergo, which healthcare providers you will see and a variety of other decisions.
Do you have specific wishes regarding life-support and other end-of-life care? Outlining your wishes in an advance health care directive, a do-not-resuscitate order and other documents can provide your loved ones with guidance.
A power of attorney can protect your assets.
Establishing a financial power of attorney allows your agent or co-agents to address a variety of different financial tasks on your behalf. These can include managing your investment portfolio, making banking or financial transactions, opening your safe deposit box, taking legal action on your behalf, operating a business or paying taxes. By choosing someone you trust to act on your behalf, you can ensure that these important matters have the attention they need even if you cannot manage your finances on your own.
Creating a plan can decrease conflict.
Your loved ones may disagree about the best approach to take when caring for your health and your possessions, and these disagreements can easily lead to conflict during a difficult time. By choosing people you trust to make decisions, detailing your wishes and discussing your plan with your family, you can help decrease their stress if you become incapacitated.
An estate plan that outlines your wishes for incapacity can provide you with peace of mind today and the confidence that your needs will be cared for if illness or injury should change your life in the future.