As you get older, it’s natural to think about end-of-life planning. However, younger people also need to consider this planning step.
What would happen if you were unable to make decisions for yourself? Who would handle your finances and medical care? Do your loved ones know your wishes? All this can be addressed with proper incapacity planning.
Why your will isn’t enough
Having a will is important. However, it shouldn’t stand alone. It should be part of a package of documents to distribute your assets when you pass away and ensure you are taken care of if you become incapacitated.
Designating a person to step up and handle your affairs is essential. Failure to do this may result in the state or a court taking action. With proper incapacity planning, you don’t have to worry about any of this.
Parts of an incapacity plan
A full plan for incapacity will include the following documents:
- Living will: This outlines the type of healthcare you do or don’t want to receive. It only applies if you can’t communicate your wishes.
- DNR: If you don’t want any resuscitative measures taken to save your life, you can include a Do Not Resuscitate Order in your incapacity plan.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: This allows you to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: This allows you to designate someone to handle all your financial decisions and needs.
As you can see, there are various elements to consider in an incapacity plan. Be sure to talk with your family about your plan, so they know your wishes. Working with a professional can help ensure you create a legally binding plan that will go into effect if you become incapacitated.