When you think about estate planning, you probably think about arranging for future asset transfers. This is certainly something that you must take care of when you are planning your estate. However, at the same time, you should think practically and consider the period of time that will precede your passing.
Advance Directives for Health Care
Your estate plan should include advance directives for health care. You execute these documents to account for the possibility of incapacity late in life. One advance directive that should be executed is a living will.
Everyone has heard of the last will or last will and testament. A last will is used to state your final wishes regarding the transfer of your financial assets.
A living will has nothing to do with the financial end of things. You use a living will to record your wishes regarding the use of life-support measures.
If you were unable to communicate while in a terminal condition with no hope of recovery, would you want to be kept alive indefinitely through the utilization of artificial means? You answer this question when you execute a living will.
Even if you are a relatively young adult, you should have a living will in place, because you never know what the future holds. Accidents happen, and younger people sometimes fall victim to catastrophic medical conditions.
Another advance directive for health care that is typically utilized is the durable power of attorney. With a durable power of attorney, you name an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
Take note of the fact that the power of attorney that is used for incapacity planning purposes is durable. Durable powers of attorney do remain in effect even if the grantor of the device becomes incapacitated. A power of attorney that is not specifically designated as durable would no longer be in effect should the grantor become incapacitated at some point in time.
There are different types of decisions that may present themselves. There are health care decisions, and financial decisions. To account for this, you could execute a durable power of attorney for health care, and a durable financial power of attorney.
If you want to, you can name two different respective attorneys-in-fact to act as your representative for each respective type of decision-making.
Incapacity is very common among elders. There are other causes of incapacity, but up to 45 percent of people who are at least 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is a contingency that everyone should prepare for in advance.
Incapacity Planning Consultation
If you would like to discuss incapacity planning with a local Quad City estate planning attorney, contact us through this website to request a free consultation.