Incapacity occurs when a physical or mental condition affects one’s ability to process information, make decisions, and communicate preferences and desires. Incapacity can happen for many different reasons, from a stroke to being struck by a car. It can also occur at any time over the course of one’s life, affecting the young or the old.
No one wants to think about becoming incapacitated. This is a fate one would never wish for. If tragedy strikes, however, your family, your assets, and your business may be at risk if you do not have a viable estate plan in place. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to work with a Utah estate planning lawyer at Pearson Butler so you will be prepared no matter what tomorrow brings.
Call (800) 265-2314 today to find out about Pearson Butler’s personalized incapacity planning services.
About Incapacity Planning
Incapacity planning involves three primary steps:
- Making sure you have made decisions on medical care in advance.
- Making sure you know who will manage your assets if you can’t.
- Making sure you can pay for nursing home costs if you need custodial care because of an incapacitating illness or injury.
There are a few different approaches to take to complete these steps. For example, making decisions on medical care in advance can involve making a do not resuscitate (DNR) order, creating a living will, and specifying what type of care you want and under what circumstances. You can name a healthcare proxy as well, which gives you the power to say who will make healthcare choices for you if you cannot communicate your own preferences.
If your focus is on protecting your assets, you can consider using living trusts and naming a backup trustee who will immediately begin to manage trust assets if you are no longer able to do so. A power of attorney can also transfer the authority over your assets and decision-making to a trusted agent of your choosing. If you opt for a power of attorney, you will need to make it a durable, so it stays in effect when you need it.
What If I Don’t Have an Incapacity Plan?
In the absence of a viable incapacity plan:
- Your family may struggle to make difficult choices regarding your end-of-life care.
- Your family could fight over what kinds of medical decisions should be made on your behalf.
- You could end up with medical care you don’t want to receive.
- Your loved ones could be forced to go to court and initiate guardianship proceedings just to get control over your property once you cannot manage it.
- Your assets could decline in value because no one has the authority to take care of them until a guardian is appointed.
- The guardian appointed may be someone you wouldn’t want in charge of your affairs.
Any of these may compound the tragedy of incapacity. Contact Pearson Butler to start on your incapacity plan to make sure none of this happens to you and your loved ones. From offices in Bountiful, South Jordan, and American Fork, the firm’s incapacity planning lawyers serve all of Utah.
Call (800) 265-2314 to get started – and ensure your wishes, assets, and loved ones are protected.