The term, “incapacity plan,” refers to that part of your estate plan that activates when (if) you become incapacitated but are still alive. It can be extremely important. About two-thirds of us still do not even have a will, at least according to Caring.com. However, incapacity planning shows that estate planning is not just about who gets what or some conversation about what the family should do with your stuff after death.
Not just physical incapacity
An incapacity plan does not just refer to a time when you are knocked unconscious in an accident. Instead, it refers to any time you are unable to make your own decisions. This could be because you are unconscious, like in a coma from a car accident; you lose your mental faculties, like if you get dementia; or if you lose your ability to function or communicate, like having late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This is why it is so important; because you are alive when this kicks in, and it ensures that your wishes are honored.
Incapacity planning, generally
Essentially, a San Jose, California, incapacity plan or incapacity planning outlines what you want to happen, should you become incapacitated, and who should make decisions for you. It does not address a guaranteed eventuality, like death, which is done in an estate plan. It simply plans for the possibility of incapacitation.
Incapacity plans include three basic items: health, financial and personal. In other words, the plan will address who should make these decisions on your behalf, and what you want that person to do.
A San Jose, California, living will (or advanced medical directive) establishes your medical decisions. It outlines the medical care you do not want and the type of care you do want. For example, for some religious people, blood infusions cannot occur. And, most people have some opinion on how long they should be on life support, organ donation, etc.
A key part of your living will or AMD is your Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. The DNR states when you want medical care providers to stop trying to resuscitate you. For example, do you want to be intubated and receive cardiopulmonary respiration (CPR) continually? This can become important because persistent vegetative states occur.
Power of Attorney
Another kind of AMD is a San Jose, California, power of attorney. For medical decisions, the POA is called a healthcare power of attorney, healthcare proxy, etc. Simply put, an HCPOA designates the person whom you want to make medical decisions on your behalf.
You can also craft POAs for other people to make financial and personal decisions on your behalf as well, including designating someone to run your business. Of course, there are more items, and this blog will discuss them in the future.