You may hear about incapacity planning and assume that it is something that applies to others. There will never be a time when you will become unable to handle your own affairs, right? Incapacity is something that only happens to other people.
If you feel this way, you should understand the facts.
Lifespans are getting longer as medical science improves. In addition to the advances in science, people are becoming more aware of the value of healthy lifestyle choices.
A census is conducted every ten years, and the Census Bureau uses this data to identify certain trends. Between the years 2000 and 2010, the ten-year age grouping comprised of people between 85 and 94 grew faster than any other.
The Social Security Administration has a life expectancy calculator on its website. You plug in any age and gender, and the calculator will calculate the life expectancy of a person of that age. Using this calculator, a man who is 65 today will probably live to the age of 84. Women have longer lifespans than men, so the expectancy is greater for women.
When you put all this information together, you can see that it is very possible that you will live into your mid-eighties and perhaps beyond.
Alzheimer’s disease strikes a very significant percentage of people who reach an advanced age. Around 45 percent of people who are at least 85 are suffering from the disease.
This disease causes dementia, and people with Alzheimer’s induced dementia are typically not going to be able to make sound decisions on their own.
Though Alzheimer’s disease is a huge threat, the disease is not the only cause of incapacity. If you combine the life expectancy statistics with the Alzheimer’s numbers, you can see why incapacity planning is important.
Durable Powers of Attorney
A guardianship hearing could be convened if you do nothing to prepare for possible incapacity. Under these circumstances, the state would choose a decision-maker to act on your behalf. The choice would no longer be your own.
You can prevent a guardianship through the execution of legally binding documents called durable powers of attorney. We are using the plural because you can create a durable financial power of attorney along with a durable health care power of attorney.
Your incapacity plan should also include a living will. With this type of will you record your preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining measures like feeding tubes, artificial hydration, and mechanical respiration.
Incapacity Planning Consultation
Every well constructed estate plan should include an incapacity planning component. If you are ready to take action, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through this page to set up an appointment: Indianapolis IN Incapacity Planning.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.