A well thought out estate plan typically includes more than just a Last Will and Testament. Incapacity planning, for example, is a common component to an estate plan. If you have yet to incorporate incapacity planning strategies and techniques into your estate plan now is the time to do so. You may, of course, be asking “ Why is incapacity planning so important? ” By considering what could happen without an incapacity plan in place you may be able to answer that question.
A traditional estate plan contemplates the death of the individual creating the plan. As such, the plan is focused on things such as probate, taxes, and distribution of assets to loved ones. What happens though if instead of dying you become incapacitated? When they hear the word “incapacity”, people often envision someone with Alzheimer’s or another old age related dementia disease. Incapacity, however, can strike at any age and can be caused by a variety of things such as a tragic car accident, a catastrophic workplace injury, or a terminal illness. If incapacity were to strike tomorrow, what would happen to you and your assets? An incapacity plan tries to answer that question.
If you were suddenly unable to make decisions regarding your own medical treatment, who would make those decisions? Along the same lines, if you could no longer manage your assets, who would take care of them for you? More importantly, who would you want in these positions? Incapacity planning allows you to make that decision now while you are still able to do so. Should the worst happen and incapacity strike without an incapacity plan in place, a court will likely have to decide who will take over control of your assets as well as who will make important personal and medical decisions for you. Worse still, your family members and loved ones may disagree about who should be appointed to control your assets or make decisions for you, ultimately causing friction and conflict that your loved ones may never get past.
If you have yet to incorporate incapacity planning into your overall estate plan now is the time to do so because you never know when incapacity could strike. Contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment to get started today.