Incapacity planning is something that everyone should think about, but is also something which no one wants to consider. While it is not fun to imagine what would happen if you are sick or injured, your family will thank you if you take the time to make a plan to spare them pain. By making a plan in advance, you also ensure you have some degree of control over your own destiny, even if you cannot speak up for yourself any longer.
The Potter Law Firm provides invaluable assistance with the incapacity planning process. We make a stressful process as stress free as possible by helping you to define your goals, make your wishes known, and make effective use of legal tools. To learn more about how we can help, contact us directly. We’ll offer you personalized advice and can also answer questions you may have including:
- What is involved with incapacity planning?
- Why is incapacity planning so important?
- How can an incapacity planning lawyer help you?
What is Involved with Incapacity Planning?
Incapacity planning involves making sure you have a plan for what happens when you cannot manage your personal and financial affairs. It also involves making plans for what happens when you cannot make healthcare choices. You could become temporarily or permanently incapacitated at any time because of an unexpected accident or a serious illness, and you want to make your wishes known before that happens to you.
There are different legal tools you can use to provide instructions for who will manage your business and financial affairs and for how choices will be made on healthcare. Some of the possible tools that should potentially be a part of your plan include:
- A power of attorney document naming an agent who has authority to make decisions, manage assets, and manage business affairs.
- A power of attorney document naming a healthcare proxy who is given authority to make medical choices. This can be the same person as your agent, or someone different.
- A living will, which dictates what kinds of extraordinary measures you wish to accept or decline in the event of incapacity. This can address care such as CPR or the use of a feeding tube.
- A Do Not Resuscitate order telling doctors not to use extraordinary measures to keep you alive under certain dire medical circumstances.
- A living trust, which allows for a backup trustee to begin managing the assets in the trust as soon as you become incapacitated.
These are just a few of many different tools that work to protect the autonomy of a person who cannot speak up for himself. The right plan will depend upon what you want to happen if the unthinkable occurs and you are left in a position where decisions about your fate are out of your control.
Why is Incapacity Planning so Important?
Incapacity planning is essential to spare pain to both yourself and your family. You also need a plan to make sure your property is kept safe so you can leave a strong legacy. With no incapacity plan, decisions on medical care are fraught with problems. You could get care you wouldn’t want, or your family could decline extraordinary measures which you would have preferred be used to try to save your life. Your loved ones could also be left fighting over what kinds of medical decisions are right for you. The case could even end up in court, where a judge decides your fate. If you have a plan and have made your wishes on healthcare known, all of this is avoided – and your family never has to face the guilt of making life and death decisions which could turn out to be wrong.
With no incapacity plan, the property you have worked so hard to acquire could also be unmanaged in the event something happens to you. Your family would need to go through complicated and costly guardianship proceedings to get control over your assets and decisions and the value of assets could be lost in the meantime as these legal processes are taking place.
Your family does not deserve this fate, and neither do you. You can avoid all of these problems with the right advanced planning.
How Can an Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help You?
The Potter Law Firm provides assistance with the incapacity planning process to clients in Ashland and Northern Kentucky and surrounding areas, as well as the Charlotte, North Carolina area. To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call today or contact us online.