Incapacity planning is something to consider when you are implementing a comprehensive estate plan. Individuals who reach an advanced age often suffer from incapacity, and in fact it may be more common than you think.
It should be noted that there are other causes of incapacity, but the existence of Alzheimer’s disease alone is enough to make incapacity planning a must.
People who are 85 years of age or older are referred to as the “oldest old” in geriatric circles. You may be surprised to hear that this is the fastest growing age group in the United States.
The Alzheimer’s Association tells us that about four out of every 10 individuals who are among the oldest old are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which can cause dementia.
To make sure you have hand-picked decision-makers in place who would be empowered to act in your behalf if you were to become incapacitated you must execute legal documents called durable powers of attorney.
There are different types of decisions to be made, so you could execute one durable power of attorney for health care matters and another for financial decision-making.
Clearly the individual who makes your medical decisions must have access to your medical records. To make sure that this access is granted you must include a HIPAA authorization.
This acronym stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and it prevents physicians and hospitals from allowing access to the medical records of patients unless specific authorization has been given.
If you would like to consult with us about making these preparations you can set an appointment by clicking this link: Free Incapacity Planning Consultation
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday
Parman & Easterday are members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.