Most individuals have a plan in place for their passing, but what if you are incapacitated? Your family has to continue functioning while simultaneously coping with caring for you after an illness or injury takes away your ability to care for yourself. Who will pay the bills and with what money? Who will make medical decisions on your behalf? Who will make other major financial decisions for the family? These are some of the major questions that your attorney should address when your incapacity planning is established.
A revocable living trust can be a great tool for addressing any possible incapacity. During good times, the trustor who establishes the trust with their assets will have full control to use and manage the assets. They will sign as the trustee as opposed to as an individual. During times of incapacity, the disability trustee will take over all financial duties including paying bills and upon death. The administrator will pay all final bills and distribute assets as directed in the trust agreement.
An advance medical directive can advise your physicians on the type of care you will receive or not receive when you are in their care. A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make your medical decisions when you are unable to do so yourself. Both these options allow your wishes for care to be successfully met, and you still maintain control of your care.
Durable powers of attorney allow another individual to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. You can establish that control will revert to you upon your recovery. Upon meeting with your attorney to discuss these issues, you can also address other issues that may arise from your incapacity even including how your pets will be cared for when you are not there for them.
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