One important aspect of the estate planning process that is sometimes overlooked is the importance of planning for incapacity. Estate planning tools can help estate planners prepare for if they become incapacitated in the form of several different types of documents estate planners should consider including in their estate plan.
Advance healthcare directive
Advance healthcare directives are also referred to as living wills. An advance healthcare directive can specify the types of medical care and treatment the estate planner wishes to receive. It can also specify if there are types of medical care and treatment that the estate planner does not want to receive.
Power of attorney for healthcare
A power of attorney for healthcare designates a trusted individual to direct the estate planner’s medical care and treatment if they are unable to direct it for themselves. This may go beyond the advance medical directives, if there are circumstances or medical care that is needed that are not addressed in the advance healthcare directive.
Power of attorney for financial affairs
A power of attorney for financial affairs designates a trusted individual to direct the estate planner’s financial affairs if they are unable to direct it for themselves.
Having a plan for incapacity is important and can save the estate planner and their families worry and anxiety. As this blog also recently discussed, it is equally important to routinely update an estate plan which includes updating an advance healthcare directive and power of attorney designations as needed. A plan for incapacity, like all of an estate plan, can provide important peace of mind for estate planners and their loved ones.