When you are planning your estate, you are taking care of things that will take place after you pass away. Without question, this is a very important part of the equation, but you should also address end-of-life issues.
Many people become unable to handle all of their own decision-making at some point in time. This is largely due to the widespread nature of Alzheimer’s disease. If you would like to obtain detailed information about the disease, you may want to visit the Alzheimer’s Association website. This site contains a great deal of very useful information.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, somewhere in the vicinity of 45 percent of people who have reached the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is a very attention-getting statistic.
When it comes to longevity, people are living longer and longer lives. Between the years 2000 and 2010, the segment of the population that was between 85 and 94 years of age grew faster than any other ten-year grouping according to the United States Census Bureau.
The Social Security Administration tells us that it is likely that you will live into your eighties if you reach the age of 65.
When you consider the long reach of Alzheimer’s disease coupled with these longevity statistics, you can see why you may want to prepare for possible incapacity when you are planning your estate.
Preventing a Guardianship
If you do nothing to prepare for incapacity, and you do become unable to make sound decisions, a guardianship hearing could be convened. During a guardianship hearing, the state would appoint a guardian to act on your behalf if it was evident that you had become unable to handle your own affairs competently.
A guardianship can be a solution under difficult circumstances, but you can be proactive about the implementation of an incapacity plan. This will typically involve the execution of legally binding documents called durable powers of attorney.
A durable power of attorney will remain in effect, even if the person granting the power becomes incapacitated. Your incapacity plan could include a durable financial power of attorney, and you can also include a durable power of attorney for health care decision-making.
When you have durable powers of attorney in place, your own hand-picked decision-makers would be empowered to handle your affairs in the event of your incapacitation, and there would be no need for a guardianship proceeding.
Learn More About End-of-Life Planning
If you would like to obtain more detailed information about end-of-life planning, our firm has prepared a valuable resource that you can access through this website. We have assembled an electronic library of special reports, and one of our reports is dedicated to the subject of end-of-life planning.
This report is free, and you can click this link to access your copy: Free End-of-Life Planning Report.