Estate Planning To Include Your Needs Should You Become Incapacitated
One aspect of estate planning often overlooked by consumers is the need for a person to be financially and medically responsible for you if you become incapacitated. While many times this is a person's spouse, if you are single and have no children, planning for your future becomes imperative.
A Financial Durable Power of Attorney Controls Your Money
You can choose to establish a financial durable power of attorney for your future. This is crucial, because if you have no one named and no one to do this for you, the probate court in your jurisdiction will appoint a stranger to do this work for you. While the assigned person has to report financial accounting to the court, a person you do not know will not know what your wishes are. When you assign a person to act as your financial durable power of attorney, you are giving them the right to handle all of your financial affairs if you become unable to.
Once you have been deemed incompetent, a financial durable power of attorney can:
- access all bank accounts
- sell your home to pay for your care in a nursing home
- liquidate other assets such as life insurance policies to pay for your needs
- pay your bills
- get paid for their services
Essentially, you are giving a financial durable power attorney the ability to act as you in all of your financial affairs. This is why it is so important to choose someone you trust before you become incapacitated.
An Advanced Health Care Directive Outlines Your Medical Wishes
Few people expect to become incapacitated, especially those that are younger and in good health. An advanced health care directive is a document that outlines what you want to happen should you suddenly become unable to express your wishes. Within this document you name an agent that will act on your behalf to make healthcare decisions based on your wishes. If you have not established a healthy care agent, this job will again be left up to a person assigned to your case through the probate court.
Your health care agent may face some difficult decisions, and the clearer you are in your advanced health care directive, the more information they will have to make these choices. Your health care agent could face the option of signing paperwork that provides you comfort care only, a decision that is almost impossible to make without advance directives in place.
Take control of your future on the off chance that you become incapacitated and talk to an estate planning attorney like Edward G. Foster today.