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How Can I Prepare for Possible Incapacitation in my Estate Plan?

How Can I Prepare for Possible Incapacitation in my Estate Plan?

It is important to be prepared for any possible outcomes of your future, as it is impossible to know exactly what will happen. While no one wants to consider the idea that they could become incapacitated in the future, there are two main reasons as to why everyone should have a plan in place for this possibility. This is to ensure that healthcare decisions are made and financial matters are taken care of. Without a plan, there may be no direction on how to settle these matters for you. 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?

An incapacity plan is not just one single document. There are several different parts to it depending on the needs and desires you have. The following documents should be included in an incapacity plan:

  • Living Will: This states the kind of healthcare you want or do not want to receive if you ever lose consciousness or capacity. It only applies if you are still alive but unable to make or communicate your own desires.
  • Do Not Resuscitate Order: This states the conditions under which you refuse to accept resuscitative measures that are performed after your heart stops beating or you stop breathing. 
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: This designates an individual as having the legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. This takes effect immediately or after you lose capacity to ensure your health care wishes are carried out.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: This provides an individual with the legal authority to manage your finances if you cannot. This also takes effect immediately or upon loss of capacity.
  • HIPAA Release: This document allows physicians and health care providers to discuss your confidential medical details with any relatives, friends, or others you select. This allows them to receive information regarding your health and treatment.
  • Revocable Living Trust: This allows property to be passed to your beneficiaries without it going through the probate process. It is useful for incapacity planning because you can let a trustee take over managing the trust when you are unable to. This ensures the property in the trust is taken care of during incapacitation.

What Happens if I Do Not Have a Plan?

Incapacity plans are important to have. This is because, without it, there is nothing that states how you wish for your decisions to be made on your behalf. When this happens, a loved one may need to go to court in order to be appointed as a legal representative before they can make any decisions for you. This can take time and also cost a decent amount of money. With a plan in place, you and your loved ones can be comforted with the knowledge that there is nothing left unprepared for.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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