Most people view estate planning as a purely financial endeavor, and this is indeed a part of it. However, it is advisable to look at a comprehensive picture.
If you enjoy a normal lifespan a lot of things can take place in your life prior to your passing. You should anticipate these possibilities and make preparations for them to be on the safe side.
Many individuals are not aware of the fact that dementia strikes approximately half of people who reach the age of 85. Most of these elders suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. And, the early onset of Alzheimer’s is relatively common as well with 13% of individuals who have reached the age of 65 suffering from the disease.
So when you look at the statistics, as disconcerting as it may be you see that it is quite possible that you will become unable to make sound decisions at some point in time. And it should be noted that dementia is not the only cause of incapacity.
Any holistic plan for aging should include an incapacity component. The documents that are routinely recommended for people who want to handpick their own potential decision-makers are called durable powers of attorney.
Because these instruments are “durable” they do remain in effect even in the event of the grantor’s incapacitation. In some jurisdictions “springing” durable powers of attorney are recognized. These powers of attorney take effect only upon the incapacitation of the grantor.
It is also possible to include incapacity provisions when you are drawing up a revocable living trust agreement.
Incapacity planning is an important part of any comprehensive estate plan and it should not be overlooked when you are making preparations for the future.