A well constructed estate plan will include provisions for possible incapacity late in life. People are living longer, and when you reach an advanced age incapacity becomes quite possible.
There are other causes of incapacity, but Alzheimer’s disease alone is enough to make incapacity planning necessary. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, around 13% of all senior citizens suffer from the disease.
The likelihood of contracting Alzheimer’s disease grows as you get older. Over 40% of the oldest old (people 85 and older) have Alzheimer’s disease.
If you were to become incapacitated, who would handle your affairs?
Guardianship or Conservatorship
A guardian or conservator is a person or entity who is appointed by the state to handle the affairs of someone who is deemed incapacitated.
Most people would prefer to keep this type of decision out of the hands of the state. Proper incapacity planning can prevent a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.
Durable Powers of Attorney
You can be proactive about naming your own potential future decision-makers by executing legally binding documents called durable powers of attorney.
With a durable power of attorney you name someone to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
There are different types of decisions that could become necessary. You could name a financial decision -maker through the execution of a durable financial power of attorney.
Your incapacity plan could also include a health care proxy or durable power of attorney for health care, with which you name a medical decision-maker.
A comprehensive incapacity plan will include a living will. This legally binding device is used to state your wishes with regard to the utilization of life-sustaining measures.
Oklahoma Incapacity Planning Consultation
If you want to explore whether incapacity planning is appropriate for you and your family, contact our firm to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Reach us through the contact page on this website.