There is a great deal of misperceptions about incapacity planning and the need for it. Many people mistakenly believe that they will never need a durable power of attorney or a living will. Many people put it off, not knowing the consequences of doing so. Working with us, our goal is to guide you in the correct options for making sure your financial and health care affairs are in order, which will make things much, much easier for you and your family upon your incapacity.
Incapacity planning allows you to provide detailed instructions which would be implemented if you were injured or ill and could not make your own decisions. This type of planning typically involves naming someone to make your financial decisions and health care decisions.
There are a great deal of misperceptions about incapacity planning and the need for it. Many people mistakenly believe that they can create these documents when they need them. Many people put planning off, sometimes until it is too late. Statistically speaking, there is a 50% likelihood that someone over age 75 will have some form of dementia before their death. with the odds going up the older you get. Also, their is a 50/50 chance that you will not be making your own medical decisions at the end of your life. Incapacity planning is planning to take these odds into account, making sure you and your family can be provided for correctly.
We take incapacity planning with our clients very seriously, taking our time to discuss all aspects of our planning and how we can help protect you and your family. In our initial consultation, we will review your estate planning and incapacity planning goals. We will also discuss the following three main incapacity planning documents:
What Happens if You Do Not Properly do Your Incapacity Planning?
In the event you do not do your incapacity planning and you become incapacitated, then your family would likely need to seek the assistance of a guardianship attorney. Basically, if you do not create a durable power of attorney and you have a stroke or car accident, for instance, and you become incapacitated, the court will likely need to declare you incompetent in order for someone to manage your financial and affairs.
Factors You Must Consider as Part of Your Planning
There are a few things that you should think about before you begin discussions with your estate planning attorney. You should begin thinking about who might be good candidates for these important roles. You should also be considering what type of medical decisions you should make and what type of direction you would provide to the person selected to be your Power of Attorney. You must also trust the people you name in these roles!
Why Should Our Law firm Create These Documents For You?
In this day and age it may be tempting to go with on-line document preparation services to assist with your incapacity planning. We have seen this before in our office, usually with terrible results for our clients and their families. There is no possible way that on-line documentation services are anywhere near as good as our documentation. As a board certified Elder Law attorney, Rep DeLoach must attend over 25 hours per year on continuing legal education, much of which concerns incapacity issues. The reality is that most of our clients do not know how great our incapacity documents are. Further, attorney Rep DeLoach is a trained facilitator in end-of-life counseling and former chair of the Board of Directors for Empath Choices for Care, an organization committed to end-of-life wishes and education advocacy.
Who Decides When To End Life Support?
One of the decisions you will make while creating your advanced directives (living will and designation of healthcare surrogate) is at what point you would not want machines to keep you alive or have other artificial means of life support, which can even include refusal to go to the hospital or take antibiotics. We will take our time together to help you decide this important role – it is never easy to make these end-of-life decisions.
Florida Specific Advance Directives (Living Wills and Designations of Healthcare Surrogate)
Advance directives and living wills are the documents that will give authority to the person you choose to make medical decisions on your behalf. Additionally, advance directives can detail your desires for end-of-life options which will ensure that the decisions you would have made are honored.
Durable Powers Of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a document that will give authority to the person you choose who will make financial decisions and legal decisions for you as you age and may become incapacitated. This may be the most important incapacity planning document you can create because a good power of attorney will be able to make sure your estate plan remains intact as you age, your assets can avoid probate while still going to the correct heirs, and your assets can be protected.