Having a plan already in place with the necessary documents signed could make it possible for you to have some control over your medical care and financial management if you become incapacitated from an injury or illness. This situation can happen over the course of many years, for example, from a debilitating illness, or in an instant from an unexpected event like a mass shooting or a car crash.
A Texas incapacity planning attorney can talk to you about your unique circumstances and explain in detail what having an incapacity plan can accomplish for you and your loved ones. This blog will give an overview of the common benefits of incapacity planning.
The Healthcare Benefits of Having a Plan for Possible Incapacity
No one wants to get thrust into the uncomfortable position of having to make life-or-death decisions or even minor healthcare decisions for another person, particularly if they have not talked with you about their wishes. Yet, if a person does not have an incapacity plan in place, their loved ones might have to do just that.
An incapacity plan for medical decisions could include:
- A medical power of attorney document that names someone to make your healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make or communicate your wishes.
- A medical records authorization that gives permission to your doctors and hospital to let that person review your medical records so they can make decisions based on facts. Without this authorization, your decision-maker would have to make decisions without knowing essential information about your medical history, drug allergies, or other vital data.
- A living will that covers end-of-life care and specific circumstances, as well as your choices about the care you want or do not want to receive at that time.
If you do not have these documents, your family will have to spend a lot of money on court costs and attorney fees to get a guardianship ordered by a judge. People often fight over who will serve as guardian. The judge does not know you or your family, so they might appoint someone you would not want to make those decisions about your medical treatment. The judge will not know your family history or dynamics.
Also, if some of your family members do not approve of your lifestyle choices, your “blood relatives” might prevent your significant other from making decisions for you and even from being allowed to visit you at the hospital or long-term care center. The best way to prevent this unwanted outcome is to make an incapacity plan.
What a Financial Plan for Incapacity Can Do for You and Your Loved Ones
Having a financial power of attorney means that the person you want to manage your financial affairs can legally do so. Depending on the terms your Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters contains, the person you name as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact” could run your business, pay your bills so that your residence does not go through an eviction or foreclosure, manage your investments, and safeguard your assets from close relatives who might squander them.
Without this power of attorney, your family might throw your significant other out of your house or apartment, fight amongst themselves about who should manage your affairs and how they manage them, and any number of squabbles that families tend to have. The only way for you to have control in this situation is to already have an incapacity plan in place. A Texas estate planning attorney could draft the documents you need to create an incapacity plan that prevents these undesired results. Contact our office today for help with your case.