An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to plan ahead and make your own end-of life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes at some later time and/or appoint someone to make decisions for you. State law dictates what types of advance directives are recognized in the state. Indiana recognizes two types of advanced directives, including: Appointment of Health-Care Representative and Power of Attorney -- lets you name someone, called your … [Read more...] about What is an advanced directive?
A revocable living trust is an extremely popular incapacity planning tool that works by allowing you to appoint yourself as the Trustee of the trust and appoint someone of your choosing as the successor Trustee. Your estate assets are then transferred into the trust. Because you are the Trustee, you continue to control those assets just as before; however, if you become incapacitated the successor Trustee (chosen by you) takes over as Trustee, thereby shifting control of your assets to the … [Read more...] about How can a revocable living trust help with incapacity planning?
A Power of Attorney is a legal agreement that allows you (the “Principal”) to grant another person (your “Agent”) the legal authority to act in your place in legal matters. That authority can be general, allowing your Agent almost unfettered power to act on your behalf, or limited, only granting your Agent the authority to act on your behalf in specific situations or for a designated period. While a Power of Attorney can be a helpful incapacity planning tool, it has some drawbacks, including the … [Read more...] about Should I use a Power of Attorney in my incapacity plan?
Incapacity planning utilizes legal strategies and tools that collectively determine who will control your assets and make important decisions for you in the event you are ever incapacitated. It allows you to make crucial decisions now instead of a judge making them for you later. … [Read more...] about What is incapacity planning?
Over the course of a single day, you make hundreds, even thousands, of decisions for yourself. Although most of those decisions are inconsequential, you will also occasionally need to make life-altering decisions for yourself. If you become incapacitated, someone may need to make life and death medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. Once again, if more than one person believes that they have the right to make those decisions for you it could lead to contentious litigation … [Read more...] about Who will make decisions for me if I become incapacitated and do not have a plan in place?
Whether you have only a modest estate, or you have accumulated great wealth, the assets you do own undoubtedly mean something to you. In addition, you are used to controlling what happens to those assets. If you were to become incapacitated tomorrow, someone would have to take over control of those assets. In the absence of an incapacity plan that dictates who that person will be, you have no way of knowing who will end up in control of your assets. More than one person could feel that they have … [Read more...] about What happens to my assets if I become incapacitated without a plan in place?
While the possibility of becoming incapacitated does increase with age, disability is not limited to the elderly. On the contrary, a tragic car accident, a debilitating illness, or even a work-related injury could all result in your incapacity at any age. In fact, a typical 35 year-old has a 24 percent, or one in four, chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer during his/her working career. That same worker has a 38 percent chance that if disabled, that disability will last for five … [Read more...] about Isn’t the threat of incapacity something to worry about when I’m older?