When you think ahead to your future, it is important to realize that life may not go as planned. At any moment in time, you could suffer a debilitating injury or illness which leaves you unable to communicate or care for the people in your life. Considering this sad reality is unpleasant, but failing to take steps in case the worst happens can set you and your family up for disaster. You need to make plans before tragedy, so you are prepared if bad things happen to you.
Vermillion Law Firm, LLC can help. Our Dallas incapacity planning lawyers provide comprehensive assistance and advice so you can have an advanced plan in case something happens to you. By planning before incapacity, you can protect your own assets and autonomy and you can spare your family from having to make painful choices and cope with costly legal proceedings.
To learn more about the personalized help we can provide, give us a call at (972) 366-7201 or contact us online. Our legal team can also offer advice on some of the questions you may have about incapacity planning including:
- What is involved with incapacity planning?
- When should incapacity planning be done?
- How can a Dallas incapacity planning lawyer help?
What is Involved with Incapacity Planning?
Incapacity planning involves taking many different steps to plan for your temporary or permanent incapacity due to a physical or mental problem. When you become unable to make your own decisions and/or unable to communicate your decisions, someone is going to need to act on your behalf. If you don’t plan ahead as to who should be the one to act, your family will face a legal problem at the time of your incapacity.
The key issues which matter when you become incapacitated involve who will make your healthcare choices, and who will manage your property, investments, and other decision-making. You can name a healthcare proxy and you can name an agent who is in charge of making all of your other decisions for you. The healthcare proxy and your agent can be the same person, or can be someone different, depending upon your preferences.
The process of naming an agent is called creating a power of attorney and there are specific legal formalities which you must fulfill in order to give someone authority to act for you in the event of incapacity. For example, you need to ensure the power of attorney is durable, so it remains in effect when you become incapacitated.
In addition to naming someone to make decisions on your behalf, you can also make some decisions in advance. You can create a living will and/or Do Not Resuscitate order to make your wishes about life-saving medical care known. Whether you want extraordinary measures used to save or prolong your life is up to you, but you may not be able to make these choices for yourself if you don’t have advanced directives explaining what you wish to have happen in an emergency situation.
Finally, many illnesses and injuries which cause you to become incapacitated can result in you needing nursing home care. Creating an advanced nursing home plan, including taking steps to get Medicaid to pay for your nursing home without you having to spend all of your personal funds, is a key aspect of incapacity planning.
When Should Incapacity Planning be Done?
Incapacity planning should be done as early as possible. There is always a chance something could happen to you at any point in time. If you have not made plans for the future, your family will be forced to go to court, have you declared incapacitated, and have a guardian appointed by a judge. This is complicated, costly, and can result in someone who you won’t want to be appointed as your guardian being put in charge of your affairs.
Your family could also be forced to make really hard choices about your medical treatment, and may make choices about your care which are different from what you would have preferred. Don’t let this happen to you.
How Can a Dallas Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help?
Vermillion Law Firm, LLC assists you in determining what steps you need to take to make a plan for future illness or injury. We will work with you to use the tools available under Texas law so you, your assets, and your family are protected if tragedy strikes your family. To find out more about how we help clients in Dallas, Irving, Plano, and surrounding areas throughout Texas, give us a call at (972) 366-7201 or contact us online.