No one wants to think about a time when they won’t be able to make decisions on their own. However, as you get older, the potential of this happening increases.
It’s best to make plans now for how you want things handled if this happens. The best way to do this is by adding provisions to your estate plan.
A will isn’t enough
It’s estimated that around 66% of adults still don’t have a will. However, even those with a will may not have fully planned for their future.
If incapacity planning isn’t a part of your estate plan, you should fix that now. The best way to plan for potential incapacity is with a power of attorney or revocable trust. If you can’t make decisions for yourself due to a disability or your mental state, you have plans that designate who can step in and do this on your behalf. These are called your powers of attorney.
Add back-ups to your powers of attorney
While naming people to handle financial and medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated is a good first step, you should include backups, too. If the person you initially named as a power of attorney cannot handle the job, you need someone to step in for them.
While naming a few backups or successors may not seem that important, you should consider that the person you choose could be incapacitated, unavailable or pre-decease you — which is why it’s best to pick people who are younger than you, those who live nearby and are in good health.
Planning for incapacity
Taking time to ensure you have planned for your future is important. A will is a good first step when creating an estate plan, but don’t stop there. Make sure to create plans for a time when you are incapacitated. This will take the stress off your loved ones and ensure your wishes are fulfilled.