Who will handle your financial affairs?
What specific authority will you grant to these individuals?
These are questions you should answer before a situation arises. Otherwise, a court will select the people to make these decisions for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Incapacity mean?
Incapacity generally means that you have a physical or mental disability that prevents you from taking care of yourself or making financial decisions
What is the difference between Estate Planning and Incapacity Planning?
The short answer is Estate Planning usually refers to plans made for after your death, while Incapacity Planning is planning while you are still alive, but unable to make decisions for yourself. Often times when individuals seek to set up an estate plan, they also have their attorney prepare documents that deal with incapacity.
What documents are usually used to plan for incapacity?
A document called a power of attorney is used. This document allows an individual to grant decision-making rights to another person to act on their behalf. Usually, a person will have one power of attorney to make medical decisions and one power of attorney to make financial decisions. They can choose to name different people for each power of attorney.
Are any other documents that people might consider?
Yes, a HIPAA authorization grants access to your medical records to certain people you designate. Also, a mental health designation can specify what forms of treatment you want or don’t want in the event mental health treatment is recommended. Finally, a Living Will can specify what type of treatment you would like or not like to receive if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition.
How do I choose which family or friends I should name as my power of attorney?
This is a personal choice, but your attorney can give you some things to think about when making this decision. It is not uncommon for individuals to name different people for their medical power or financial power of attorney.