There is a Catch-22 of sorts to be aware of if you are serious about making sure that all of your bases are covered as you enter into different phases of life.
While you are of sound mind and body, planning for the possibility of incapacity may seem irrelevant. But if you have no plan in place, if and when your faculties do start to wane, it may be too late to do anything about it. I often ask people who have been through serious illness and recovered how they felt the day before it happened. Great! How did you feel the day after it happened? Helpless…unprepared…frightened that I had not taken care of things the way I should.
The solution is to be prepared for all challenges that may confront you at some point in the future while hoping for the best. Being prepared for anything that fate may send your way is going to provide you with a certain modicum of peace of mind. If you never suffer from any form of incapacity that’s great, but there is no harm in being prepared just in case.
People who use revocable living trusts to arrange for the eventual transfer of assets to their heirs can include an incapacity component. You state your wishes regarding how you would like your affairs handled and appoint a disability trustee who will be empowered to administer the trust in the event of your incapacitation.
Another widely recommended course of action is executing durable powers of attorney appointing attorneys-in-fact to act in your behalf should it become necessary.
If you have not made any provisions for the possibility of incapacity as of yet, there is a gap in your long-term plan. Taking care of this omission is as simple as picking up the phone to arrange for a consultation with a licensed, experienced, and savvy Oklahoma City estate planning lawyer.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday