Statistics have shown that we are five times more likely to become incapacitated than to die during any projected future period. It’s impossible to predict if or when we might become incapacitated, but we can plan for it. One of the primary objectives of incapacity planning, also called life planning, is to avoid the court-controlled process known as conservatorship. In a conservatorship, the court decides how your assets will be controlled, as well as how you will be cared for physically if it is determined that you are no longer able to make such decisions on your own.
Fortunately, proper planning can provide you with a variety of options to control both your assets and medical care in the event of incapacity. You, not the court, will choose the person you want to make decisions on your behalf.
Each of the following documents addresses different issues surrounding incapacity and, in the case of the living trust, may solve several potential problems at the same time:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Creation of Joint Tenancies
- The Living Trust
- Pre-Need Nomination of Conservator
- Living Will/Health Care Surrogate
If you plan today, your spouse, children or other loves ones will not be faced with the painful prospect of going to court to have a conservator appointed. Such planning can also prevent confusion and family disharmony over your care, and you will receive the level of care you desire managed by those you select to assist you.