The risks of a disabling injury or life-threatening illness are very real, although many people like to believe these tragedies could never befall them. While you may not want to acknowledge that you are vulnerable to illness or injury that could leave you unable to manage assets or make medical choices, you need to plan for this unfortunate possibility. Incapacity planning is something that everyone should do, and you need to get the right professional advice to make a smart plan.
Frank & Kraft can provide you with invaluable assistance with incapacity planning. We can advise you on the types of steps you need to take to protect yourself and your family and we can make use of the legal tools that are necessary to ensure your assets can be managed and health decisions can be made. Give us a call at (317) 684-1100 today for information on the incapacity planning you need to do and to get answers to questions including:
- What is involved with incapacity planning?
- What if I don’t have an incapacity plan?
- How can an Indianapolis incapacity planning lawyer help?
What is Involved with Incapacity Planning?
Incapacity planning involves taking steps to address how your medical decisions will be made and how your assets will be managed in case you are not able to speak for yourself. When you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, someone must take over with managing your property and making all decisions on your behalf. It is up to you whether you plan in advance to have control over this process of whether you leave things up to fate.
When you have decided to make the smart choice and create an incapacity plan to protect yourself, your assets, and your family, the planning process may involve different steps including:
- Creating a durable power of attorney. This allows you to name an agent who is going to manage assets and make decisions on your behalf. The power of attorney needs to be durable so it stays in effect when you’re incapacitated. You can make it a springing power of attorney if you don’t want your agent to get authority unless or until incapacity occurs.
- Creating living trusts. When you create living trusts, you can transfer assets into them. The transferred assets will be managed by you, as the primary trustee, until you become incapacitated. If you do become incapacitated because of illness or injury, the backup trustee will take over to manage trust assets on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust.
- Creating advanced directives. With a living will, a Do Not Resuscitate order and other advanced directives, you can have the maximum amount of control over what kinds of medical care you want. You can determine if you want a feeding tube, artificial hydration, CPR, or other extraordinary measures to be used in a life-threatening emergency situation.
- Naming a healthcare proxy. You can name an agent who is going to be asked by doctors about what your healthcare choices would be, if you are no longer able to communicate those choices and they aren’t addressed in your advance directive.
You can also take additional steps to plan for incapacity, such as making sure your assets are kept safe in case your debilitating illness or injury necessitate nursing home care. It is up to you and your attorney what your plan contains and what legal tools you take advantage of to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What If I Don’t Have an Incapacity Plan?
If you do not have an incapacity plan, your family is going to be faced with a difficult situation if something happens to you. Your loved ones could be forced to go to court to seek guardianship and have you declared incapacitated in order to take control over assets. Your family could be forced to decide on what kinds of medical care to provide or whether the plug should be pulled on machines keeping you alive. There could be disagreement, stress, and costs that your family members must face if you haven’t protected them by planning in advance.
How can an Indianapolis Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help?
An Indianapolis incapacity planning lawyer at Frank & Kraft can offer you the advice you need to create a comprehensive incapacity plan. Give us a call today at (317) 684-1100 or contact us online to learn more about how our Indianapolis incapacity planning lawyers can help you to protect your family and secure your future.