Incapacity planning is an important part of estate planning. The estate planner should think about what they want if they become incapacitated and should include a plan for if they do experience incapacity in their estate plan.
Setting up an incapacity plan for my estate plan
No one likes to think about it but there are several documents that can be included as part of an incapacity plan that can cover all of the important bases in the event that the person becomes incapacitated.
An incapacity plan should be included. It is a type of power of attorney. The person should write a power of attorney for both medical care and financial affairs. If estate planners cannot make medical decisions on their own, a healthcare power of attorney can designate an agent to make medical care decisions for them. Additionally, the estate planner can also create a power of attorney for finances to give a designated agent the legal authority to make financial decisions for the estate planner if they become incapacitated.
In addition to a power of attorney for finances, a revocable living trust can be used to help the estate planner if they become incapacitated. While a revocable living trust can be used to help avoid the probate process, it can also as an incapacity planning tool.
A living will or advance healthcare directive should also be included and can be used to enumerate the types of medical care and treatments the estate planner wants or does not want if they are incapacitated. The estate planner should also decide if they want to include a do not resuscitate order and include a HIPAA release form, which will allow access to the estate planner’s medical records.
Estate planning has many different parts to it and the estate planner should not overlook incapacity planning. For that reason, estate planners should include the necessary documents in their estate plan.