Becoming incapacitated by illness or injury is something that many people are very frightened of. No one wants to be left unable to communicate and at the mercy of others to manage their affairs and make their every life decision. Unfortunately, because so many are scared about this happening to them, too many people don’t think about incapacity or make plans in advance in case this tragedy occurs. If you have not planned for incapacity, you are putting yourself and your family in a very bad situation.
YMNLAW can help you to make an incapacity plan that allows you to maintain at least some control over your own destiny, even if illness or injury leaves you unable to be your own advocate. With help from a Duluth incapacity planning lawyer, you can make smart choices about what should happen to your assets, how medical decisions will be made, and even how you can pay for nursing home care if you can no longer live alone due to your illness or injury.
Call us today to get personalized assistance with your advanced incapacity plans and to get answers to questions you have about incapacity planning including:
- Why do I need an incapacity plan?
- What should be part of an incapacity plan?
- How can a Duluth incapacity planning lawyer help me?
Why do I Need an Incapacity Plan?
If you get very sick or hurt, you could become unable to communicate your wishes about your medical treatment, and you could become unable to manage your assets and your personal affairs. If you are in this state of incapacity and you have not planned for it, there will be uncertainty about what kinds of care you should get and what should happen to you and your property.
Your family may not know who should make decisions for you, or may not agree on what is best… and even if they do have a plan, they may not have the legal authority to carry it out. Someone you love will have to initiate guardianship proceedings in court, which costs money and is stressful. A case will have to be made that you’re incapacitated. All the while, no one will be managing your wealth, and assets could be declining in value. The court will decide if you do need someone to act for you, and will appoint a guardian.
The person chosen to make healthcare decisions for you is going to have to make tough choices about whether extraordinary measures should be used to prolong your life. Your loved ones may not know your wishes regarding end-of-life care and may feel guilt about the decisions they make.
If you have to go into a nursing home because you are left incapacitated by injury or illness and cannot live alone, your wealth could be quickly spent down, leaving you no legacy for your loved ones.
None of this is desirable, and you do not want this to be your fate or your family’s fate. You can avoid it by making an incapacity plan, but you need to act now because you never know when tragedy could strike and it could be too late.
What Should be Part of an Incapacity Plan?
Your incapacity plan must be customized to accomplish your goals and provide desired protections for you. Some of the tools that could be a part of your plan include:
- Powers of attorney, which delegate authority to a chosen agent who can make decisions on your behalf. When you make a power of attorney, you select who makes your decisions, rather than a judge.
- Living trusts, which let you choose a backup trustee to manage trust assets right away as soon as you become unable to care for your own properties and wealth.
- Advanced directives for healthcare, which can involve specifying what kinds of care you want to receive or decline and which allow you to name a healthcare proxy to make choices for you when your preferences are not specified in advance.
- Irrevocable trust and other tools to allow you to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care while your personal financial resources are protected.
There may also be other incapacity planning tools that are right for you and your loved ones. YMNLAW will help you to determine what steps to take and will create enforceable legal documents on your behalf that will be vitally important in case of incapacity.
How can a Duluth Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help Me?
A Duluth incapacity planning lawyer at YMNLAW can assist with the creation of a legally valid power of attorney, living trust, advanced healthcare directives, and more. To find out about the ways in which an attorney can help you and your loved ones be prepared in case of an incapacitating illness or injury, give us a call at (218) 720-2888 or contact us online today.