Even if it’s hard, planning for what happens should you be unable to make your own decisions later in life is perhaps the most crucial part of estate planning. You hope it never happens, but planning for incapacitation would take the pressure off your loved ones, and it helps ensure that you still have a voice.
What are some ways to plan for being incapacitated?
There are many estate planning tools to consider, but it’s important to know that estate plans can be used to issue advanced health care directives. Advanced health care directives would be referred to in the event that you can’t make your own decisions about your health and well-being. These documents might include planning for:
- Health care decisions
- HIPAA authorizations
- Living wills
- Do Not Resuscitate orders
Perhaps most importantly, advanced health care directives can grant power of attorney should you be unable to make decisions. It’s important to know that a person who has financial power might not have power of attorney or power to make health care decisions on your behalf.
How are advanced health care directives put into place?
These directives are put into place after specific events or just any time a doctor or court rules you unable to make your own decisions. The most common thing that comes to mind is if someone is in a coma, but it can also apply to if someone is otherwise mentally or medically incapacitated.
This type of planning can be a stressful process for anyone. Since health care directives are often relied upon after severe and unexpected accidents, it’s important to put them in place before it’s too late.