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What Is Incapacity Planning and Why Is It Important?

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio powers of attorney lawyerPlanning for the possibility that you may one day lose the capacity to make medical and financial choices for yourself is a very wise thing to do. It can be an emotionally charged topic - facing the likelihood that you will experience incapacity in your lifetime can be difficult. However, there are actions you can take right now that will allow you to retain a measure of control should that day come. The time to make decisions about your later-in-life care is now, while you have the capacity to do so. An estate planning attorney can help you prepare a series of documents, such as a living will, that make your wishes known. 

Why is Incapacity Planning Important? 

Failing to plan for incapacity can leave a lot to chance. If you do not have a thorough plan in place, the court may need to appoint a guardian for you. There is no guarantee that the court, your guardian, your doctors, and others involved in your care will know and respect your wishes. 

Incapacity planning allows you to voice your wishes in advance, and to appoint people you trust to manage your financial and medical affairs. 

Many people have strong feelings about certain end-of-life decisions and care. These are highly personal choices best made by the person receiving care. Only by planning ahead can you express what your wishes in these situations would be, rather than leaving it up to someone else. By planning for incapacity, you can keep these personal decisions in your own hands. 

What Documents are Part of Incapacity Planning? 

A strong incapacity plan is comprised of multiple documents that together, cover the planner’s financial, legal, and health care decision-making. Documents your attorney may suggest using include: 

  • Living will - This details the nature of health care you would and would not want to receive. 
  • Powers of attorney - Both health care and financial powers of attorney are typically used to appoint people you would trust to make medical and financial decisions for you. Often, these are two different people. 
  • HIPPA release - Your power of attorney or others will need to access your protected health information to manage your medical care. 
  • DNR - It is up to you whether and under what circumstances you would want lifesaving measures such as resuscitation. 

More traditional estate planning techniques, such as transferring assets into a revocable living trust, are sometimes also used for incapacity planning. The documents used in your incapacity plan will vary depending on your personal situation and wishes. 

Speak to a Bexar County Lawyer for Incapacity Planning

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law, is skilled at creating customized estate and incapacity plans. For a free consultation with an experienced San Antonio incapacity planning attorney, call 210-535-0870. Learn how we can help you take charge of your future care now. 



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