Thinking about a day when you won’t have the capacity to make decisions for yourself is difficult, but it’s something you should do. As an adult, it’s important that you have an incapacity plan in place that addresses what you want to have happen if you cannot take care of yourself any longer.
Incapacity planning is a part of any good estate plan. With your incapacity plan, you’ll want to address:
- Your finances
- Your personal responsibilities
- Your health
Your plan should talk about who is going to take over your finances and how they can manage them. It should also list out your responsibilities and assign someone to take them over. Finally, make sure you have a health care power of attorney in place, which will make certain that someone you trust is there to make decisions about your health care when you cannot.
Building your comprehensive incapacity plan takes time
It takes time to build a comprehensive incapacity plan, but if you get started with your basic estate plan, your attorney will walk you through the other things you should consider. For example, here are some of the items you may want to include in your incapacity plan:
- A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) if you would not like to be resuscitated under certain circumstances.
- A living will, which states the kind of health care you want to receive (or wish not to receive) if you cannot make the decision for yourself in that moment.
- A HIPAA release. A HIPAA release will allow your medical documents to be distributed to the specific individuals you select, so they can know about your medical conditions.
- A durable power of attorney who will be able to take care of your finances.
- A health care power of attorney, who will take care of your health care decisions.
If this seems like a lot, don’t stress. Your attorney can help you put together a solid plan that takes into account all the aspects that must be considered when you’re incapacitated. Having a plan in place will help you rest easy knowing that you will be taken care of.