No one is particularly anxious to think about this type of scenario, but the hard truth is that many people become unable to communicate health care decisions late in their lives. When you are planning your estate, you can include an incapacity component to account for this possibility.
Your incapacity plan should include advance directives for health care. One of these directives is called a living will.
Unlike a last will or last will and testament, a living will does not have anything to do with financial matters. You would use a living will to make your wishes known with regard to the utilization of life-sustaining measures like feeding tubes, artificial hydration, and artificial respiration.
If you do not have a living will in place, and these circumstances do befall you, your own true wishes may not be carried out. Your next of kin would be forced to make this extremely personal decision, and that is a tough position to be placed in.
Plus, everyone in the family may not be on the same page with regard to the best course of action. As a result, there could be disagreements among your loved ones during a very difficult time for everyone. In fact, this type of scenario played out a number of years ago via the highly publicized Terri Schiavo case.
You can take the matter into your own hands if you are proactive about the creation of a living will.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
A living will is an advance directive that is specifically focused on the matter of life-support. However, there are other types of health related decisions that could present themselves toward the end of your life.
You can name someone to make these decisions on your behalf through the execution of an advance directive for health care that is called a durable power of attorney. A power of attorney that is not durable would no longer be in effect if you were to become incapacitated, but a durable power of attorney would still be effective.
We should point out the fact that this type of document is called a health care proxy in some areas.
Special Report on End-of-Life Planning
We have shared the basics in this brief blog post, but you can obtain more details if you download our in-depth special report on end-of-life planning. The report is free, and you can access your copy quickly and easily through this website.
To get your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: End-of-Life Planning Report.
If you are already convinced about the importance of incapacity planning, send us a message through this page to set up a consultation: 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.