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Estate planning: Are you prepared?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | Trust & Estate Planning

Most people perceive estate planning solely as a means to distribute their belongings after death. However, there is more to it than just divvying up your estate posthumously. For instance, have you ever thought about what would happen if you were incapacitated by a sudden illness or injury?

Life is quite unpredictable, and it’s best to anticipate such possibilities when crafting your estate plans. It’s all about ensuring everything is in order when disaster strikes. Here is what you can do to prepare yourself for incapacitation.

Assign a power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The person you appoint (the attorney-in-fact or agent) will take charge of tasks like paying bills, handling investments or managing property if you become incapacitated. It all depends on the scope of authority you grant them with the document.

It’s essential to pick someone you trust and who understands your wishes well. They should also be reliable, responsible and capable of competently managing your affairs during times of incapacity.

Establish advance healthcare directives

As the name suggests, an advance healthcare directive is a legal document that communicates your medical care wishes and preferences in the event you are unable to effectively communicate them. 

Establishing advance directives involves writing a living will detailing your preferences for medical treatments during critical health situations. It also encompasses appointing a trusted individual to act on your behalf or ensure your medical wishes are honored.

Make informed decisions

It also helps to look into other estate planning tools besides a will, such as revocable trusts, to ensure your assets are managed according to your wishes. Equally important is regularly reviewing and updating your estate plans to align them with your current situation.

Reaching out for qualified legal guidance when planning for incapacitation can help you do everything right – from navigating the intricacies of estate planning to ensuring your documents are legally sound and tailored to your specific needs.