Planning for a death is often considered the purpose of estate planning. Another important aspect of estate planning is "disability planning". In estate planning the term "disability planning" generally refers to mental rather than physical incapacitation.
Important questions to consider about disability planning are:
- Who will make your medical decisions if you can’t?
- Who will pay your bills and handle other financial matters for you if you are mentally incapacitated?
- What instructions do you want to leave to these trusted helpers?
Your estate planning attorney should help you answer these questions and draft Powers of Attorney that contain your personal instructions. If you don’t have these documents in place and you become mentally incapacitated, your family will be forced to go to Guardianship Court so that someone has legal authority to make your medical decisions and financial decisions. Guardianship Court is a time-consuming, expensive and unpleasant experience for most families.
We provide our clients education on the topic of disability planning as we counsel them through the creation of their estate plan. In addition, we also provide an educational event every year for our clients on the topic of disability planning so they can bring their "Helpers" to learn more about the topic, or just to have a refresher on the topic. See our upcoming events to sign up for the next educational event.