Incapacity planning is one of the single most important things a person can do because anyone and everyone can become incapacitated at some point in their lives. Current statistics indicate that 70% of us will require long-term care at some point due to incapacitation.
If you become incapacitated, this means you are no longer of sound mind or body. You cannot make your own medical choices or choices about asset management, or you cannot communicate the choices which you would make for yourself.
Without an incapacity plan, your family could face substantial legal challenges and be left in a bad situation. They could be forced to seek a court-ordered guardianship to manage assets and make decisions on your behalf. There could be fighting among your family members about who should make medical decisions or manage your assets. Your wishes might not be known or respected, and someone who you would not choose could be making choices for you.
You can avoid the undesirable outcomes which result from a lack of incapacity planning by taking action in advance and completing your incapacity planning. An Oklahoma City incapacity planning lawyer at Parman & Easterday can help. Give us a call today to learn about the assistance we offer.
Steps in Incapacity Planning
Incapacity planning does not have to be complicated, but there are multiple steps to take to get the maximum protection for yourself and your loved ones should something happen to you.
The key steps an Oklahoma City incapacity planning lawyer can assist with include:
- Creating advanced directives: Advanced directives allow you to provide advanced instructions on what kinds of medical care you want or do not want. The State of Oklahoma has an Advanced Directive for Healthcare form on its website. However, be sure to get legal help in creating your advanced directives to make certain your documents are legally valid and as comprehensive as you need them to be.
- Naming a healthcare proxy: Advanced directives like a Living Will provide information on whether you accept or decline specific kinds of medical services, such as CRP or a feeding tube. Sometimes decisions must be made about your medical care which are not addressed in your living will or advanced directive. A healthcare proxy is someone you name to make those decisions on your behalf.
- Creating a power of attorney: A power of attorney lets you name someone as your agent or attorney in fact if you become unable to manage your own affairs. Your agent will handle investment decisions, pay bills from your account, buy and sell property, and otherwise act on your behalf. The agent’s job is to protect you and act in your best interests. Be sure your power of attorney is durable so it remains effective after incapacity. If you don’t want the power of attorney to become effective until you become incapacitated, you can make it a springing power of attorney.
- Making a plan for nursing home care. If you suffer a stroke or other type of illness or injury which leaves you incapacitated, you may need nursing home care after your condition is stabilized. It is best to have an incapacity plan in place in which you make provisions for how to pay for nursing home care. The cost of nursing homes is astronomical and care isn’t covered by most private insurance or Medicare. Without planning in advance to have your nursing home care paid for by Medicaid, while protecting your assets, you could be forced to spend your life savings.
These key steps in incapacity planning are steps virtually everyone should take, because there is always a risk that a medical emergency will arise that could leave you unable to communicate or unable to act.
How an Oklahoma City Incapacity Planning Lawyer Can Help You
Parman & Easterday provides assistance to clients in Oklahoma City, Overland Park, and surrounding areas in Oklahoma and Kansas. We offer help with incapacity planning to people of all ages. You never know when a medical emergency could strike and you never want to be unprepared.
To learn more about incapacity planning and to get the help you need to be prepared for illness or injury, call us today at (405) 703-9987 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to learn more. You can also join us for a free seminar.