Incapacity planning is what allows you to enjoy your life, secure in the knowledge that if your health takes a turn for the worse, your wishes and expectations will still be carried out as you’d want them to be. When you neglect incapacity planning, you leave your end-of-life care to chance. This isn’t an outcome anyone wants to see.
The San Mateo incapacity planning attorneys at Loew Law Group make creating an incapacity plan easy. You can rest assured that if something goes wrong, your wishes will be carried out the way you’d want them to be.
What is incapacity?
Incapacity refers to the inability to care for assets and children and to make or communicate your decisions and preferences.
Incapacity can be mental or physical. A severe stroke, an accident that ends in a coma, and debilitating diseases or conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or legal insanity can all lead to being considered legally incapable.
Oftentimes, people don’t begin thinking about incapacity until later in life. This is a mistake. Incapacity can happen to anyone at any age. While incapacity planning is a common consideration for seniors, everyone should take note of the repercussions of incapacity.
The inability to create a will, make health decisions, or choose how children are raised are questions all individuals should responsibly attend to. Tragic accidents happen every day. When you’re not prepared for the worst, you lose all control over the outcome for both yourself and your loved ones.
What is incapacity planning?
Incapacity planning is legal preparation for potential health conditions that could render you incapable of managing your own affairs. Incapacity planning is an essential part of having a well-organized estate and maintaining control over your future.
Incapacity planning is primarily concerned with responsibly planning out finances and health decisions. It’s also an essential preparation to make when you have minor children. Arrangements for children are typically made through a will, which is one aspect of an incapacity plan.
What should a San Mateo incapacity plan include?
An incapacity plan is a collection of important legal documents and decisions that dictate how your affairs will be managed in the event of incapacity. These include decisions about finances and preferences regarding your medical care.
Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
The designation of statutory durable power of attorney bestows decision-making authority upon a designated individual. The person manages your affairs on your behalf and makes decisions in most categories, with the exception of medical decisions.
The person designated will take responsibility for finances. They will ensure bills are paid and other assets are managed according to your wishes.
Medical Power of Attorney
Granting medical power of attorney means authorizing a person to make medical choices on your behalf. If you specify your medical wishes, the designated individual is responsible for making sure your directives are followed.
When your preferences have not been specified, this person makes decisions on your behalf. It’s recommended that you select a person you can trust to make decisions in alignment with your desires and any religious or personal beliefs.
Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates
The directive to physicians is also called an advance directive. This is the document in which you specify your medical wishes. Putting these preferences down in a separate document makes it easy for your medical power of attorney to know your wishes. It also makes it harder for doctors or family members to challenge the decisions made by the person appointed medical power of attorney.
A directive to physicians is also used to specify your decisions about end-of-life care. The preference for either a DNR order or life support is outlined here.
A HIPAA release is a small-but-impactful part of incapacity planning. This is where you specify which of your family members can access your medical records. Without this access, it’s much more difficult for family members to provide you with care and make informed medical choices on your behalf.
Last Will and Testament
A will and testament ensures that your assets are distributed as you wish upon your death. A will can also declare other important concerns, like guardianship for pets or minor children.
Revocable Living Trust
While the terms of your will only go into effect upon your death, a revocable living trust allows your assets to be utilized while you are still living. Having a revocable living trust in place ensures that financial concerns surrounding medical care and children are adequately provided for.
Contact a San Mateo Incapacity Planning Attorney Today
Incapacity planning is the process of collecting and completing the legal documents that will help your family follow your wishes should incapacity occur.
When you make your wishes clear and do the legal preparation, you relieve your family of additional stress, uncertainty, and dissension as they adapt to changes in your health.
With proper planning, you can ensure your wishes are met, and your family is spared unnecessary burdens.
The San Mateo incapacity planning attorneys at Loew Law Group will help you navigate the documents and decisions of end-of-life arrangements. Contact Loew Law Group today to begin the process of incapacity planning.