The reality is that as you grow older, your risk of becoming incapacitated due to illness, injury, or cognitive decline increases. While this is unfortunate, incapacitation is something you can prepare for. Acknowledging that it can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of age or health status, allows you to put the necessary contingency plans in place.
Lucky for you, there are feasible estate planning tools at your disposal to help you put your affairs in order. This way, in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself, you don’t run the risk of losing autonomy over your estate. Keep scrolling to discover estate planning tools you can use to prepare for incapacitation.
1. Powers of attorney
One of the most important estate planning documents is a power of attorney. This document allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. There are two types of power of attorney: financial and medical.
A financial power of attorney grants someone the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf, such as paying bills and managing investments. A medical power of attorney grants someone the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf, such as consenting to medical treatments and procedures.
2. Living will
A living will is another essential estate planning tool that can help you plan for incapacitation. It outlines your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care. For example, it specifies what types of medical treatment you would like to receive, such as life support or pain medication, and what types of treatments you would like to refuse. Having a living will can also help prevent disputes among family members with different opinions on how to proceed with end-of-life medical treatment.
A trust is a legal arrangement in which you transfer ownership of your assets to a trustee. The trustee manages the assets on your behalf and distributes them according to your wishes. By creating a trust, you can ensure that your assets are properly managed if you become incapacitated. You can also specify how and when your assets will be distributed after your death, which can help prevent disputes among family members.
Estate planning is an essential tool for planning for incapacitation; it helps ensure that your affairs are in order and your wishes are carried out — so don’t wait until it’s too late to start planning.