Incapacity planning is an important thing to consider when you are looking ahead toward your twilight years. It can be hard to prioritize this when you are younger and in full control of your faculties. However, you should understand the facts if you think that this type of planning is really not relevant to you.
Everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s disease, and it has touched many of us personally through elder family members. What some people are not aware of is the fact that approximately 45 percent of people who are at least 85 have the disease. This statistic comes from the Alzheimer’s Association.
A 45 percent chance of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is certainly significant and attention-getting, but of course this is not the only cause of incapacity among our nation’s elders.
To prepare for the possibility of becoming unable to make your own decisions you can choose to execute powers of attorney naming agents to make decisions in your behalf should you become incapacitated.
A typical standard power of attorney would not remain in effect after the incapacitation of the grantor. Therefore, a particular type of power of attorney called a durable power of attorney is used for this purpose. This type of POA does stay in effect even after the grantor becomes incapacitated.
There is yet another power of attorney called a “springing” durable power of attorney. With this POA the agent will only be empowered to make decisions in your behalf if it has indeed been determined that you are in fact incapacitated.