Incapacity planning is important for all individuals but is especially critical for seniors or those looking to retire. If you face diminished capacity as a result of a disease, dementia, accident, or otherwise, how will your financial affairs be managed? Who is going to pay the mortgage? The utilities? Who is going to make medical decisions for you? Who will manage your bank accounts or retirement funds? Incapacity planning is designed to address these issues and prevent costly guardianship procedures.
There are strategies that give you control over your life even when you are incapacitated. We consider an incapacity plan as part of the basic estate plan that everyone should have, but for seniors we go to additional lengths to protect assets and plan for incapacity issues. We recommend that you consider the following types of incapacity planning documents:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates
- HIPAA Release
- Lady Bird Deeds
- Trusts and/or Medicaid Planning