Did you know an incapacity plan can include powers of attorney, a living will, and a revocable living trust agreement?  An incapacity plan is an often overlooked part of your comprehensive estate planning. Unfortunately, most of us are so focused on transferring wealth or creating a legacy, that we forget to plan for incapacity.

Your incapacity plan may be one of the most important things you can plan for this National Older Americans Month.

Through these tools you could grant another person the legal authority to act on your behalf. Authorizing a person to make financial and healthcare decisions if you become incapable of doing so in a crisis is a critical step in planning forward.  

It is crucial to choose the right person for the responsibility of carrying out your wishes should you become incapacitated.  You need to assign these duties to a person you trust. This is a person who can make sound decisions that reflect what you want and not be influenced by others.

Let us share a few more considerations to help you select the right agent or agents for your plan this National Older Americans Month. 

1. Distance. It may be better to choose someone who lives close to you, if possible. Even in this age of technology, it may be easier when someone is local. Remember, there may be occasions when time is of the essence.

2. Availability. Keep your potential agent’s availability in mind as you make a choice. For example, does your potential agent work, care for others, or travel a lot?  Factors like these could result in him or her being unavailable in a crisis or simply unable to have the time to handle your financial or medical needs.

3. Experience. Does the agent have specific experience with finances or medicine? While not required, you may want to select the person who can be your best advocate. Any familiarity with the responsibilities that could be involved may prove to be essential.

4. Organization. Caring for another person is not an easy task. Your agent should be able to keep track of his or her responsibilities plus manage your needs. This could include handling your bills and checkbook or managing your health care needs and care concerns. You may want to consider if this person is organized enough to successfully manage this responsibility.

These are just a few of the considerations we want you to think about this National Older Americans Month.

There is never a wrong time to carefully consider your choices, weighing all factors, before making a decision.  Do not wait to contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss your estate planning. Know that we are your local community law firm and that we are here for you.