When you look at the statistics, you find that a very significant percentage of elders suffer from incapacity late in their lives. Because of this fact of life, a comprehensive estate plan should include an incapacity planning component.
Guardianship and Conservatorship
If you do not have an incapacity plan in place, interested parties could petition the state to appoint a guardian to handle your personal affairs. A conservator could be appointed to manage your finances.
Many people would prefer to make their own choices with regard to decision-makers. You can take the matter into your own hands when you create an incapacity plan.
Durable Powers of Attorney
An incapacity plan will include documents called durable powers of attorney. With a durable power of attorney you name an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf. Because the power of attorney is durable, it does remain in effect even if you become incapacitated.
When you have durable powers of attorney in place naming hand-picked decision-makers of your own choosing, there is no need for the court to appoint a guardian and conservator.
If you were unable to communicate while in a terminal condition, would you want to be kept alive through the utilization of artificial life-sustaining measures? You answer this question when you create a living will.
When you record your wishes regarding the use of life-support in a living will, you take this difficult decision out of the hands of your loved ones.
Incapacity Planning Consultation
Every responsible adult should have an incapacity plan in place. If you take the right steps in advance, you can record your wishes and have representatives of your choosing at the ready to act on your behalf if it becomes necessary.
We invite you to contact our firm to schedule an incapacity planning consultation. You can reach us by phone at (563) 445-7400 during business hours, or you can request an appointment.