An opportunity to save money is a huge motivator to make a purchase, and it should also prompt you to action to safeguard your estate. Without a legally binding estate plan including incapacity planning, you’re leaving your assets open to a long and expensive conservator dispute in the event that you cannot administer your own financial, legal, and health decisions.
Here are some principal aspects of incapacity planning in the context of a complete estate plan.
Advance Health Care Directive
An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to make your wishes legally binding concerning:
- Your end of life health directives, including a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment
- Organ, tissue and eye donation
- A HIPPA release so that your designated medical power of attorney can discuss your care with medical professionals
Revocable Living Trust
Establishing a living trust is a good way to protect your estate from having to go through the conservatorship process. In this process, you transfer the ownership of all of your assets to your own trust. You maintain control over your trust, but name a trustee to manage the trust in the event you’re incapacitated.
Your attorney can guide the process, answer questions and complete this documentation that can essentially replace a will. This is because the trust can denote to whom assets are disbursed to upon the owner’s death. This approach avoids probate because the trustee can forward inheritances directly to beneficiaries.
Powers Of Attorney
You will want to ask your legal counsel to see if one or all of the three types of powers of attorney would be beneficial for you to establish. They are:
- California Uniform Statutory Power of Attorney
- Bank specific power of attorney
- Non-statutory power of attorney
Be Proactive And Maintain Control
When you make your wishes and opinions known and formalize them in advance of possible incapacitation, you maintain control of what happens to you. Estate planning not only helps you preserve your estate finances, but it also helps avoid surprises in the event of the unexpected.