It is common to want to avoid thinking about potential disabilities. But taking care of your incapacity planning will help you sleep better at night knowing you took responsibility to protect yourself, those you love, and your assets. Unfortunately, too few plan for an event that is more likely to be a probability than a possibility—and the consequences of not planning can be disastrous for all involved.
Littleton Legal PLLC will help you get your disability plan in place as part of your comprehensive estate plan. Every estate plan needs to include incapacity planning (aka “disability planning”). With people living longer due to advances in medicine and changes in lifestyle, odds are that most of us will become disabled for some time before we die and may need long-term care.
More comprehensive forms of incapacity planning include trust planning, but there are also several simple tools to minimize the inconveniences of disability include powers of attorney for health care, day-to-day personal affairs, and business.
- Healthcare Decisions and Control. Consider your health care for a moment. As long as you are able to provide informed consent, you will continue to make your own healthcare decisions. But if something happens and you can’t, even if it’s for a short time, don’t you want to be the one who selects the person who will make those decisions on your behalf? Most of our clients do. We’ll show you how to use health care powers of attorney, HIPAA releases, advanced health care directives and trust planning to keep you in control and protect yourself and those you love.
- Financial Decisions and Control. If you can’t pay your bills and manage your day-to-day affairs, don’t you want to be the one who selects the person who takes over for you? If you don’t decide, the court will freeze your assets and make that decision. Your loved ones – often, even if you have a spouse – will have to go to court and pay attorney and court fees so someone can be appointed to take care of your tasks. Worst of all, the court has the power to appoint a stranger as an independent guardian. This person will charge significant fees and have access to your money, property, and bank accounts. A durable power of attorney is a simple way to appoint a trusted person to manage your finances, business, real estate, etc. if the event you cannot act on your own behalf.
- Minor Children Decisions and Control. What about your minor children? Who’s authorized to care for them if you can’t? Let Littleton Legal PLLC help you navigate the important decision process of nominating a guardian for your minor children.
Planning for disability may also include disability income insurance (to help replace lost income) and long-term care insurance (to help cover the costs of care that are not covered by medical insurance). Business owners may want to consider business or professional overhead insurance that will pay monthly operating expenses until they recover or the business can be sold or transferred, and buy-sell agreements in the event a co-owner becomes permanently disabled.
Disability before death is not always expected and it does not always happen, but it must be planned for.
Contact Littleton Legal PLLC to start your disability planning today.