How Estate Planning Is Connected To Incapacity 

More than likely, you or someone you know has said they don’t have enough assets to warrant the cost of an estate plan. Although you likely have more assets than you think (and should strongly consider estate planning), that is beyond the point we intend to make. If you have ever worked with one of our attorneys or visited our website, you would know that estate planning is not only planning for what happens to your assets after you die, but also involves planning for who will have the legal ability to take care of you while you are alive should you not be able to take care of yourself because you are “incapacitated.”  

You Need to Have a Sense of Urgency 

When asked why everyone needs an estate plan, including the Powers of Attorney that go along with a well-thought-out estate plan, many people will point out that anyone can become incapacitated at any time, and therefore they would not be able to take care of themselves, or make healthcare or financial decisions. One of the most common examples they cite is car accidents, which is really why every adult should have an estate plan. Driving a car is a risk that most people accept based on necessity. However, diminished mental capacity is also a form of incapacitation. Having dementia is a form of incapacity, and the risk of dementia increases as you age. The millions of people who suffer from dementia have trouble forming thoughts, expressing themselves, and making decisions. 

Depending on the stage it’s in, if someone has dementia and does not have an estate plan which includes Powers of Attorney, the family may have to petition the court to become a guardian over that person and possibly their assets. This is an expensive, long-term, court-monitored process which would enable the guardian to make decisions on that person’s behalf.  

You Don’t Need to Wait

Petitioning to become a guardian could take months. If you cannot make decisions independently, you need at least one person to make medical and financial decisions for you. In a previous post, we discussed that a complete estate planning package includes a durable power of attorney and a designation of healthcare surrogate. A healthcare and durable power of attorney remains in effect even if you are incapacitated! 

Meet an Estate Planning Attorney and Be Better Prepared

Estate planning allows you to plan for the inevitable. In addition to passing down your assets, you can also pre-designate (and empower!) the people who will advocate for you if you become incapacitated. There will be someone to pay your medical bills, pay your mortgage, and advocate for the medical treatment you would have asked for. Take a step in the right direction today and commit to making an estate plan. Contact ElDeiry & ElDeiry, P.A., to schedule your consultation

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