3 essential components of an incapacity plan

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Planning for unforeseen circumstances is not just prudent; it’s essential. Of course, nobody likes to dwell on the possibility of becoming incapacitated. But, having a plan in place can provide you with peace of mind and help to ensure that your wishes are carried out even if you are ever in a situation where you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

You can work to facilitate this goal by engaging in incapacity planning. An incapacity plan comprises several important documents that work harmoniously to communicate your wants and needs should you become incapacitated.

Advanced healthcare directive

An advanced healthcare directive outlines your instructions concerning your end-of-life medical treatment preferences should it happen that you cannot voice your wishes. This document typically covers life support, resuscitation and organ donation scenarios. Clearly stating your healthcare preferences in advance relieves your family members of the burden of making difficult decisions during an already stressful time.

Durable power of attorney

This important document grants someone you trust the power to make important decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The individual, known as your attorney-in-fact, can manage your finances, pay bills and make legal decisions according to your instructions outlined in this power of attorney document.

Guardianship designation

If you have minor children or dependents with special needs, it’s essential to designate a guardian who will care for them in case you are unable to do so. This involves legally naming someone to assume parental responsibilities and make decisions regarding the upbringing and welfare of your children. Settling on a suitable guardian can ensure that your kids are raised by someone you trust and who shares your values and beliefs.

Incapacity planning is an essential aspect of comprehensive estate planning. By including these three essential components in your plan, you can help to ensure that your desires are respected and your loved ones are cared for in the event of your incapacitation.