Incapacity planning may not be the most pleasant subject to contemplate, but planning ahead is important if you want to make sure that you are treating your family members fairly. You could choose to do nothing and hope for the best. But if you were to become incapacitated, those that you love could bear the brunt of the consequences of your inaction.
When you are including an incapacity planning component within your broader estate plan you should execute documents called advance directives for health care. One of them is a living will.
As most people are aware, medical science can do some amazing things, and further advances are manifesting on an ongoing basis. Even as it stands right now physicians can sometimes keep people alive indefinitely via the utilization of life support measures. These would include ventilators and feeding tubes.
Incapacity Planning in Indiana
Incapacity planning will involve the execution of a living will with which you can state your wishes regarding these life-sustaining measures.
This is a personal matter, and on a societal level it is somewhat controversial. Some people feel as though each individual has the right to make his or her own decision, while others are strictly against the removal of life-sustaining measures under any and all circumstances. However, you can legally choose to instruct medical professionals to eschew the utilization of artificial life support.
If you were to become unable to communicate while in a terminal condition without executing a living will think of the situation that would materialize. Everyone who loves you would have an opinion about the best way to proceed. It is quite possible that different members of the family would have differing opinions.
This is an emotionally devastating time for all concerned. Acrimony within the family during a time when they should all be pulling together supporting one another is certainly something that most people would want to avoid.
This can be relatively easily and effectively accomplished by the inclusion of a living will within your estate plan.
While we are on the subject, in addition to a living will there is another advance directive for health care that you should include in your incapacity planning component: a durable power of attorney for health care or health care proxy.
You may not specifically address every possible medical contingency when you are executing your living will. Should a situation arise that is not addressed in the living will your attorney-in-fact or health care proxy would be empowered to make medical decisions in your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
Everyone should have these important incapacity documents in place. If you are currently without them, take action right now to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation.
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.
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