Having a thorough plan for incapacity can help estate planners protect themselves in the invent they become incapacitated. There are several important components of a comprehensive incapacity plan that estate planners should keep in mind when developing theirs.
A living will states what types of medical care and treatment the estate planner wishes to receive if they are incapacitated and the types of medical care and treatment they want to refuse. A living will applies if the estate planner is alive but unable to express their wishes for themselves.
Healthcare power of attorney
A healthcare power of attorney designates an individual that will make healthcare decisions for the estate planner if they cannot communicate their wishes for their medical treatment and care for themselves. A healthcare power of attorney, along with a living will, provides comprehensive protections for the estate planner should they lose capacity.
Durable power of attorney for finances
A durable power of attorney for finances allows the estate planner to designate an individual with the legal authority to manage the estate planner’s financial affairs if they are incapacitated.
Revocable living trust
A trust can be used to pass property to beneficiaries without it having to go through the probate process. It can also be used to support the estate planner if they become incapacitated and have designated a successor trustee who can manage the trust property for the estate planner.
HIPAA release form and a do not resuscitate order
A HIPAA release form allows medical care professionals to share the estate planner’s medical care information with family and friend designated in the release. A do not resuscitate order can also be used specify when the estate planner wishes to decline resuscitate measures.
Planning for incapacity is an important part of the estate planning process and no estate plan is complete without an incapacity plan. For that reason, estate planners should know about the estate planning tools that can help them develop a plan for incapacity.