Estate planning and incapacity planning is uncomfortable. We are discussing our deaths and times when we may not be of sound mind (or even conscious). It is natural to put off such conversations. And, according to Caring.com, most (about 60%) are putting these talks off. Unfortunately, as with everything in life, we cannot know when our time is up or if we will be involved in a Las Vegas, Nevada, accident, or an accident anywhere else in the United States.
Is incapacity planning different from estate planning?
For our readers who already have an estate plan, they may be thinking they already have an incapacity plan as well. However, that is not, necessarily, the case. While an estate plan should include an incapacity plan, not all estate planners include it, unless the client specifically asks for it.
Do I really need an incapacity plan?
Unfortunately, just like Las Vegas, Nevada, insurance, you do not “need” it until you “need” it. In other words, no one can tell you whether you will become incapacitated, just like no one can tell you if you will every be in a car accident. However, just like with car accidents, it is likely that you will become incapacitated at some point. This could be due to age, disease or accident.
If you do not have an incapacity plan in place, everything you do just does not get done. If you manage your household’s bills, those bills do not get paid. And, even if your spouse knows who to pay, not all companies allow for payments from anyone other than the account holder. If your spouse is on the account, do they know how to pay it, which accounts to use and do they have access to all the accounts that hold cash? You could wake up to a house in foreclosure or a spouse living with friends because the utilities were disconnected.
Hallmarks of incapacity plans
At the basic level, a Las Vegas, Nevada, incapacity plan does three things: sets your expectations, outlines how to effectuate those expectations and who should carry out those expectations. This means that you will need to think about everything that you do, how it gets done and who you want to step into your shoes.
Whom to choose
The Las Vegas, Nevada, person empowered to act on your behalf is empowered by a power of attorney. Even if that person is your spouse, you should still name them on a power of attorney. Additionally, you should name backups as well because it is possible that you are both incapacitated at the same time.