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Planning for incapacity


Waiting until a plan is needed may be too late.  While the risk of disability maybe just as/or possibly more likely than death, many still give their incapacity planning short shrift.

A comprehensive approach for dealing with possible incapacity involves a Revocable Living Trust, General and Health Care Powers of Attorney, a Living Will, Nomination of Guardians, a HIPAA authorization, Disability and Long-Term Care insurance.  Without these items an individual’s incapacity can result in a prolonged court proceeding to appoint a guardian causing emotional stress for the family and loss of individual privacy as well as a serious expense. 

A comprehensive estate plan not only focuses on what happens after death but should also address possible incapacitation during life.  Mental or physical incapacitation/, whether it be temporary or permanent, can occur any time from accidental injury and disease. Longer life expectancies, due to modern medical advances, may cause individual incapacity to last for many years prior to death. 

Without a plan, the courts may determine who handles an individual’s assets and who makes decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. 

Making a plan should include the following inter-related components. 

  1. A Revocable Living Trust.

  2. A General Durable Power of Attorney for property and financial matter.

  3. A Health Care Power of Attorney

  4. A living will

  5. Nomination for guardians of the person and estate. 

  6. An authorization to disclose medical information known as a HIPAA

  7. Disability and Long-Term Care insurance.

Each one of the above seven items should be explored further and in detail with your planning advisor.  Planning for incapacity can be tough because it does require difficult decisions.  A failure to plan can result in far more trouble for your family and lead to costly and unwanted court proceedings.

If you would like to discuss further how planning for incapacity will benefit you, please feel free to contact me. You are also invited to use my calendar link below.


Barry serves on the exclusive SCOPE™ faculty in California helping to educate successful people. 


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