What Do I Need to Prepare for Incapacitation in an Estate Plan?

No one can predict the future. That is why everyone should be prepared for all possible outcomes in their life. While no one wants to consider it, this can include mental or physical incapacitation. There are two reasons as to why you should have a plan in place for something as serious as this: to designate healthcare decisions and take care of financial matters. Without a plan, it can be a long and difficult process to have these matters settled for you after the fact. If you wish to create a plan for your future, retain the services of an experienced New York estate planning attorney today.

What Documents Do I Need?

A plan for incapacitation is not only one document. It has several different parts that typically vary depending on your desires. The following are documents that should be included in an incapacity plan:

  • Living Will: This document states the healthcare you want or do not want to receive if you lose consciousness or capacity. It only applies if you are still alive but unable to make or communicate your wishes.
  • Do Not Resuscitate Order: This states that you refuse to accept resuscitative measures performed after your heart stops beating or you stop breathing. 
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: This designates a person as having the legal right to make medical decisions for you. This ensures your health care wishes are protected, going into effect immediately or after you lose capacity. 
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: This designates the individual you want to have the legal authority to manage your financial matters if you are unable to do so yourself. This can also take effect immediately or upon your loss of capacity.
  • HIPAA Release: This document allows your physicians and health care providers to discuss your confidential medical details with the relatives, friends, or other people you choose. This ensures they can receive information about your health and treatment.
  • Revocable Living Trust: This allows you to pass property to beneficiaries without it going through probate. This is helpful in incapacity planning, as you can choose a trustee to manage the responsibilities of the trust when you are unable to. This ensures the property will be taken care of while you are incapacitation.

What Happens if I Do Not Have a Plan?

Without a plan for incapacitation, there is no outline for how decisions should be made for you during this time of need. In most cases, a loved one would have to go to court to ask a judge to appoint you as a legal representative before decisions can be made. This takes time and costs money. Having a plan ensures loved ones to know your wishes and can take care of you properly.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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