Incapacity Protection: Preferred Tools
Do you have all of the necessary legal documents in place in case you are incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself? Below, our experienced estate planning attorneys explain what you need to include in your estate plan to make sure your wishes are carried out in the event that you become incapacitated.
#1: Revocable Living Trust
This type of trust allows you to maximize your ability to manage and protect your assets. With a Revocable Living Trust, you can hold your assets in the trust and assign a “trustee” who has the authority to manage and protect the trust assets. You can serve as the trustee while you are alive, but if you are incapacitated, then your “successor trustee” will step in to manage the trust. The successor trustee’s powers are limited to only the assets held in the trust.
#2: Durable Power of Attorney
With a Durable Power of Attorney (DPA), you can address financial, property, and other legal matters that aren’t covered by your trust documents. A DPA lets you name a person to serve as an attorney in-fact (AIF). The AIF has the power to manage non-trust assets, file taxes, and act as your legal representative. The difference between the AIF and successor trustee is that the AIF is not treated as the owner of the assets they are in charge of managing, so the AIF has limited powers compared to a successor trustee.
#3: Health Care Directives
Health Care Directives (HCD) identify the person in charge of making medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself. An HCD also specifies your specific wishes regarding health care, such as which medical treatments you prefer if you are terminally ill or in an irreversible coma/vegetative state.
#4: HIPAA Authorizations
HIPPA has strict regulations that limit third parties from accessing your protected health care information. This can sometimes make it difficult for your family members to obtain important medical information during a crisis. If you want to avoid this issue, then you need to designate “Authorized Recipients” who can access protected healthcare information.
Our Esteemed Estate Planning Attorneys Can Assist You Today
Our legal team at Estate Law Partners, LLC has years of experience guiding clients through all kinds of estate planning strategies. If you would like more information about your options for trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney, or HIPPA authorizations, then please reach out to us today to discuss your situation with our knowledgeable legal professionals.
Call (608) 292-5185 or contact us onlineto schedule a case consultation to learn more about your options for preparing for the future.