Why You Should Include an Incapacity Plan in Your Estate Plan
Estate planning is something that all Americans need to do to protect their assets and loved ones. When creating their last will and testament, people are increasingly omitting a portion of the document that deals with what happens if they become incapacitated. You should include an incapacity plan in your estate plan because these documents set forth your precise wishes and instructions concerning your finances, health care, or end-of-life requests. Additionally, your family members will not have to determine what you would have wanted. This plan goes into effect as a legal document and can include many tools. These tools can include a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, and durable financial power of attorney. If you are no longer able to make decisions for ourselves about our medical care and financial affairs, addressing these issues in a last will and testament allows you to have control over our end of life care.
Often, people assume that when this situation occurs, their loved ones will automatically be able to make decisions for them. However, this is not the case. Unfortunately, in order to do so, your family must go to Court in a sometimes-lengthy process. You can avoid a petition to the Court by creating an incapacity plan. Furthermore, such a petition can be the start of a lengthy and costly procedure. With an incapacity plan already in place, you can largely avoid the time and expense of the court procedure.
Is Incapacity Planning Expensive?
If completed with the rest of your estate planning documents, an incapacity plan will not be very expensive. However, spending a little extra money to have a lawyer create an incapacity plan can save you a lot of money in the future.
For example, if you get in a car crash with an incapacity plan, your family or friends designated in the plan will be able to withdraw assets or manage your money while you are injured. Furthermore, they will also be able to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated. Say this same situation occurs yet you do not have an incapacity plan, you could fall behind on bills that would incur interest and late fees. Furthermore, to establish power of attorney after the fact, you must hire a lawyer. This lawyer will send a petition to the court asking for them to establish a power of attorney. This will cost upwards of $5,000. However, it will also likely take a few weeks for the court to establish the power of attorney.
Overall, an incapacity plan could save you money in the longterm. More importantly, this plan allows you to receive the proper treatment if you were to sustain a serious injury.
Contact our DC Law Office for More Information
For more oo why you should include an incapacity plan in your estate plan, please contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.