Estate planning is often thought of as a purely financial endeavor. Without question, you must facilitate smooth and efficient asset transfers when you are planning your estate. However, incapacity planning is also an important piece of the puzzle.
Why would you have any reason to believe that you will ever become incapacitated? This is not a very pleasant subject to contemplate, but when you know the facts, you can see why incapacity planning is important.
There are various different causes of incapacity, and some of them are purely physical. Late in your life you may become unable to communicate, and short of this you may not be able to get around very well. This is one type of incapacity that can strike.
There is also the matter of mental incapacity. Alzheimer’s disease is a very big threat to elder Americans.
If you want to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, you may want to visit the Alzheimer’s Association website. This website provides a great deal of good information about but Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 40 to 45 percent of people who are at least 85 are suffering from the disease.
This is a telling statistic, and it is relevant to everyone because people are living longer and longer lives. The Social Security Administration has a life expectancy calculator on their website. If you use this calculator, you will find that a man who is 65 years old today is likely to live past the age of 84. Women have longer life expectancies than men, so you see a very clear picture.
It is very possible that you will live into your eighties and perhaps beyond, and if you do, Alzheimer’s looms large.
Preventing a Guardianship
If you were to become incapacitated without taking any steps to prepare for this contingency, the state could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf. You would have no control over the choice of a guardian. The state would control your fate.
You can prevent a guardianship and take the matter into your own hands when you are putting together a long-term plan for aging. This is typically done through the execution of incapacity planning documents called durable powers of attorney.
With these documents you name people to make decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. You could name a health care decision-maker, and a financial representative.
Durable powers of attorney are utilized because they remain in effect even if the grantor becomes incapacitated.
Incapacity Planning Consultation
If you would like to put an incapacity plan in place, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can contact us through this page to set up an appointment: Hartford CT Incapacity Planning.