Making a plan for incapacity as part of an estate plan is an important component of any estate plan not to overlook. Incapacity planning involves understanding what documents to include in an estate plan and including them as part of the estate planner’s comprehensive estate plan.
Financial management during incapacity
The primary document estate planners should include as part of their estate plan to prepare for their inability to manage their own financial affairs is a financial power of attorney. A financial power of attorney provides the individual designated in the power of attorney document with the authority to conduct the estate planner’s financial affairs for them if they become incapacitated at any point. A trust may also be useful to include to help plan for incapacity and can serve other important roles as well as part of an estate plan.
Medical care during incapacity
To help ensure the estate planner’s medical care will be managed according to their wishes, the estate planner may wish to include two important documents in their estate plan. A medical power of attorney, which is sometimes called an advance healthcare directive, gives the individual designated in it that authority to direct the estate planner’s medical care and treatment. A living will is a second document that can also be useful to enumerate the types of medical care and treatment the estate planner wishes to receive or does not wish to receive and then they will only receive medical care and treatment according to what is outlined in the document.
Included in the living will can be end-of-life medical treatment and care which should be carefully considered by the estate planner when developing their estate plan. A HIPAA release form can also help facilitate their care more easily. Having a plan for if the estate planner becomes incapacitated is an important part of the estate planning process which can help provide estate planners and their families with extra peace of mind.