Making plans for an emergency scenario can be difficult, but doing so is an important aspect of incapacity planning. Whether you are facing the incapacity of an elderly parent or you’d like to plan for your own future, discussing the matter with an experienced attorney is important. Engaging in incapacity planning can help you protect your loved one’s rights and assets while proactively planning for the future.
The incapacity planning attorneys at Palmer & Slay, PLLC offer clients comprehensive estate planning services. We will work with you to help you navigate the difficult incapacity planning process for yourself or your loved one. We understand how difficult talking about end-of-life decisions can be. Our compassionate attorneys will help you achieve your estate planning goals using our decades of experience with conservatorships, trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives.
The Benefits of Incapacity Planning
A comprehensive estate plan should include preparation for the possibility of your incapacity and the certainty of your eventual death. Incapacitation due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another incapacitating mental or physical illness can take an emotional toll on loved ones. Many people assume incapacity is usually age-related. However, a person can become incapacitated at any age. Working with an attorney to create a plan for incapacity can help you rest assured your needs will be met in the future. Doing so can also help you protect your assets and your loved ones.
Am I Too Young To Be Concerned with Incapacity Planning?
Whether you are just starting your career or looking to retire in the near future, incapacity planning can be beneficial. Many people who haven’t included an incapacity plan within their estate plan assume they’re too young to be concerned with incapacity. The likelihood of being incapacitated increases as a person reaches his or her retirement years, but anyone could be involved in a debilitating accident or develop an incapacitating medical condition.
Incapacity Planning Allows You to Choose Who Will Make Decisions For You
If you’re incapacitated and cannot make medical and financial decisions for yourself, another person will need to take control of your assets. Incapacity planning allows you to appoint an agent to pay your bills, account for your income, and maintain your finances. Without an incapacity plan in place, your loved ones won’t know who should have the authority to make decisions for you. They will need to ask a court to appoint someone to control their assets and finances, which could lead to a legal battle. Choosing an agent in a power of attorney document will prevent your loved ones from a stressful legal battle during an already difficult time.
The Benefits of Creating a Revocable Living Trust
Creating a revocable living trust gives you the ability to transfer control of your assets to your designated replacement. If you suffer an incapacitating illness or injury, you don’t want your loved ones to have to petition the court for legal control of your assets. Establishing a revocable living trust with the help of an estate planning attorney allows you to appoint yourself as a trustee. You’ll also be able to appoint a co-trustee or a successor trustee. The successor trustee will have the legal authority to take over the management of the trust assets if you are incapacitated. The transition will occur seamlessly without the need for a legal battle.
Advanced Healthcare Directive
Preparing for incapacitation due to a medical condition is an important aspect of incapacity planning. You have the right to give instructions about your own health care should you be incapacitated. A power of attorney for healthcare generally takes effect when a person is no longer able to make healthcare decisions for himself or herself, as determined by a medical doctor.
Creating an advance healthcare directive allows you to appoint a person you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make them for yourself. The person you appoint will be called your agent or power of attorney. In an advance healthcare directive, you can also express your wishes regarding what type of care you would and wouldn’t like to receive in a medical emergency.
What Treatment Preferences Should an Advance Healthcare Directive Include?
Mississippi recognizes an advance healthcare directive that is a three-part form. An advance healthcare directive allows you to state your wishes regarding extraordinary techniques that prolong life through artificial means. The directive instructs healthcare providers to refrain from certain medical and surgical interventions. For example, you can state whether you’d like to receive nutrition through an IV, special instructions for blood transfusions and dialysis, and organ and tissue donation.
Your preferences will only apply when you have a terminal medical condition or an irreversible medical condition in an advanced state caused by disease, injury, or physical illness that will result in death to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, regardless of the continued application of life-sustaining treatment.
Long-Term Care Planning
Many of us will need to live in a long-term care facility at the end of our lives. Unfortunately, living in a long-term care facility can cost over $7,000 per month. Without a plan for long-term care, facility costs can easily drain a person’s hard-earned estate, leaving nothing for his or her loved ones. An estate planning attorney can help you create an irrevocable trust, allowing you to qualify for state healthcare benefits, including long-term care benefits. The money must be transferred into the trust five years before you apply for benefits.
Contact an Incapacity Planning Attorney in Mississippi
Incapacity planning can help you protect yourself and meet your wishes. Taking time to plan for the future now can lift a heavy weight off of your loved one’s shoulders in the future. At Palmer & Slay, PLLC, we have helped clients with incapacity planning for decades. We understand how emotionally challenging these decisions can be and are here to help guide you through the process with compassion and experience. Contact Palmer & Slay, PLLC to discuss making a plan for your future.
Palmer & Slay, PLLC, is dedicated to assisting clients with their incapacity planning needs in Mississippi, including Scott County, Rankin County, Brandon, and beyond.