Estate planning is often thought of as a monetary endeavor, and this is a large part of the equation. At the same time, a comprehensive plan will take the eventualities of aging into consideration. With this in mind, we will look at the value of incapacity planning in this post.
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
We all know that Alzheimer’s disease can strike senior citizens. But when you look at the facts, the numbers are rather surprising–and not in a good way.
More than 10 percent of people that are 65 and older have the disease. This figure swells to 40 percent for the segment of the population that is at least 85 years old.
If you are thinking that most people don’t live that long, the Social Security Administration has a life expectancy calculator that you can use to measure the life expectancy of a person at any age.
According to this tool, a man who is turning 67 today has a life expectancy of 85 years. For a woman, it is 87 years. Clearly, Alzheimer’s disease is a looming threat for all seniors, and it is not the only cause of incapacity.
Consequences of Inaction
Have you considered what would happen if you become unable to handle your own affairs at some point in time? If you do nothing to prepare for this eventuality, people close to you might have to petition the court to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf.
This is a necessary safeguard, but the bureaucratic red tape can create a stressful situation. Plus, everyone in the family may not be on the same page with regard to the right way to proceed. This can lead to acrimony among family members who should really be pulling together.
In addition, the person who is empowered by the court may not be the individual that you would have chosen when you were of sound mind.
To prepare for possible incapacity, you can take certain legal steps. First, if you have a living trust, you can name a disability trustee in the trust declaration. This fiduciary would be empowered to administer the trust in the event of your incapacity.
You can add a durable power of attorney for property to account for property that has not been conveyed into the trust. Another durable power of attorney can be created to name an agent that would be able to make health care decisions on your behalf. The same person can assume both roles, but this is not required.
A living will is another incapacity planning document that should be included. This is a type of will that is used to state your choices regarding the end-of-life use of life-sustaining measures.
Explore Our Resources
There are treasure trove of resources on this site, and we urge you to take full advantage of them. They are offered free of charge so you can effectively build on your knowledge without reaching into your pocket.
To check out everything that we have to offer, visit our resource page and feel free to absorb any and all information that is of interest to you.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
We are here to help if you are interested in devising an estate plan with the assistance of a licensed attorney. There is no universal, one-size-fits-all estate plan, and this is why it is important to discuss your options with a professional.
In light of the coronavirus situation, if you would like to meet with us in a remote manner, we can accommodate you. To set up an appointment to speak with our Charlotte-based attorney, give us a call at 704-944-3245. The number in Kentucky is 606-324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or 859-372-6655 (Florence, KY), and there is a contact form on this website you can use to send us a message.