Basic Documents for Incapacity Planning

Sep 14, 2010

If you have not included an incapacity arrangement in your estate plan you should do so immediately. Every person needs an incapacity plan to care for their financial assets and medical needs in the event of a mental disability or major physical ailment.

Advance Health Care Directive

An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to plan for your medical needs if you become disabled. This document allows you to name the person(s) you wish to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself. It also allows you to state your wishes regarding life support and organ donations.

Financial Power of Attorney

If you should become disabled, someone must be available to manage your finances. A financial power of attorney (POA) allows you to name an agent to sign documents on your behalf, use your funds and income to pay bills, manage your personal and retirement accounts, and invest your accounts for extra income. With the help of your attorney, you can tailor your POA to fit your financial needs.

When you create a POA, you can choose between an Immediate and a Springing POA. An Immediate POA allows your financial attorney-in-fact to assist with your assets immediately. With a Springing POA, your attorney- in-fact can only manage your affairs after you become incapacitated.

Revocable Living Trust

A Revocable Living Trust has many benefits including the fact that it can be used for incapacity planning. Every asset that you fund into your Trust can be handled by your successor trustee during your time of disability.

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