There are several ways estate planning tools can help prepare for incapacity which may provide peace of mind to estate planners concerned about what they will do if they become incapacitated at some point. Estate planning tools can help estate planners plan for their own incapacity or prepare and provide for the incapacity of a loved one.
Estate planning tools that can help prepare and plan for incapacity include:
- Advance healthcare directive – an advance healthcare directive is also sometimes referred to as a living will and is a document that specifies the types of medical care and treatment the estate planner wishes to receive, or does not want to receive, should, at some point, they become incapacitated and are unable to direct their own medical care and treatment. An advance healthcare directive may address resuscitation and other end-of-life medical concerns and preferences.
- Durable power of attorney for healthcare – a durable power of attorney for healthcare allows for a trusted individual to be designated by the estate planner to make medical decisions for them concerning their treatment and care if they are unable to speak for themselves. This can include making medical care and treatment decisions not directly addressed in the advance healthcare directive.
- Durable power of attorney for financial affairs – a durable power of attorney for financial affairs allows for a trusted individual to be designated by the estate planner to direct their financial affairs if the estate planner is unable to do so for themselves due to incapacity.
Planning for incapacity, or caring for loved ones who are incapacitated, are important concerns facing many estate planners and families. Fortunately, there are estate planning tools available to help them address their concerns that they should be familiar with.