Why Prepare for Incapacity?
Surprises are the spice of life. But, like any spice, too many surprises can be a bad thing – And the wrong one in the wrong place can make a huge difference. While we can’t protect ourselves from every twist and turn life throws at us, we can prepare ourselves. Don’t you want to know your loved ones are protected if you fall ill or suffer a major injury? Of course, you do. Therefore you already know some of what makes incapacity planning so important. It may sound unpleasant, but it’s about protecting the lives of those you love. Nothing could be more valuable.
In this article, we will cover the basics of incapacity planning and why it’s so important.
What is Incapacity Planning?
Incapacity planning is about deciding who you will authorize to carry out your decisions if you cannot do so yourself. This process involves drawing up legal documentation to this effect. In general, the two most important reasons are ensuring your healthcare and financial decisions are made in a way you approve of. For example, many people dread thinking of being kept alive “on a tube” or on a breathing device after brain death. Without incapacity planning, it can be impossible to prove what your wishes are.
Your financial decisions, meanwhile, are another matter. While a Will may include instructions on what to do with your assets after you die, what about if you are incapacitated? Without specific language, this eventuality may not be covered.
When Should I Make an Incapacity Plan?
Unlike many of our annual responsibilities, incapacity plans don’t have a date set in stone where you need one. Because the consequence of not having one of these plans can be so steep, you’ll want to create one sooner rather than later. The actual timing of incapacity planning is different for everyone. Be that as it may, there tend to be three events that start the process:
- Major Life Events: Marriages and divorces cause people to reevaluate their assets. So does the birth of a child. As different states have different laws, a major move can also start the process.
- Close Deaths: The loss of loved ones is never easy. Whether a spouse or a close friend has passed, these shakeups cause people to reappraise their situations. In the event of a loved one’s incapacity, people might see the problems that arise and want to avoid them.
- Healthcare Changes: A long-term, debilitating illness diagnosis is a huge shakeup. It will usually cause people to speed up their estate planning. Planning for incapacity seems more important when we become ill, after all. The reality is that it is never too early to plan for your incapacity.
Why plan for your incapacity? Several moments could inspire you to start planning for incapacity. Rather than just reacting to your life, why not plan ahead? Everyone benefits from your incapacity planning. Your loved ones know who will hold power of attorney and can help you through difficult times more readily. It also helps them through difficult times. Having to go through legal or family disputes over your wishes is always something to avoid. It’s an uncomfortable position for many people to be in. Who wants to be responsible for such important decisions for others? Protect your family from uncertainty and consider incapacity planning now with Dowd Law.