Incapacity can occur if an injury or an illness renders you unable to make decisions or to communicate your desires. Incapacity can make it impossible for you to make your wishes known regarding the medical care you receive. It can also make it impossible for you to manage your assets, pay your bills, take care of your property, or decide how you will be cared for.
Incapacity is something no one likes to think about, but it can happen to anyone. If you do not have a plan for it, your family will be thrown into chaos and forced to grapple with tough decisions and legal issues at a difficult time. You can protect your family and maintain control of your own destiny with incapacity planning. Vermillion Law Firm, LLC can provide you with assistance creating a plan in case of incapacity. Give us a call to find out more about how we can help you and to get answers to questions including:
- What is involved with incapacity planning?
- Why is incapacity planning important?
- How can a Dallas, TX incapacity planning lawyer help me?
What is Involved with Incapacity Planning?
Incapacity planning involves determining in advance before you get sick or injured what will happen in the event you are no longer able to act or speak for yourself. Incapacity planning focuses on two primary areas: the types of medical care you will receive and the management of your assets and property.
You can make advanced decisions on the types of medical care you will receive by:
- Creating a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order if you want to avoid extreme measures to keep you alive when you would have no quality of life.
- Creating an advanced directive or living will, which provides specific details on the life-saving care and emergency measures you would like to have undertaken to save or prolong your life under particular circumstances.
- Creating a healthcare power of attorney to name the person who will make decisions for you that aren’t addressed by your DNR or living will.
- Owning property jointly so a co-owner can manage the property in case of incapacity.
- Creating a living trust and naming a trustee who will begin to manage the assets within that trust if you become incapacitated. You can remain the trustee and manage your own affairs but specify that your backup trustee takes over in the event of serious illness or injury which renders you unable to act.
- Creating a power of attorney and naming an agent who will be vested with authority to act for you. Your power of attorney must be a durable power of attorney if you want it to remain in effect in case of incapacity. You may wish to make it a springing durable power of attorney if you want it to become operative only upon incapacity as opposed to immediately giving your agent power at the time the power of attorney is created.
These are a few of many options for incapacity planning which you should consider as you think ahead to the future.
Why is Incapacity Planning Important?
Incapacity planning is very important because you want to control what kinds of medical decisions will be made and you want to know who is going to be acting for you. If you have not made choices in advance, you will lose all control over your life in the event of incapacity. You could end up being kept alive with no quality of life in a situation you would have never wanted to be in, and you could end up with someone acting on your behalf and making decisions who you never would have selected. All of this can be avoided when you create a plan before you become sick or injured.
Incapacity planning is also essential to protecting your loved ones. You don’t want your family fighting over medical decisions or forced to make the choice to pull the plug and end your life. You also don’t want your family forced to go to court and petition for guardianship to manage your affairs in the event you become incapacitated. This can create stress, make your personal life public, and sometimes result in a guardian being chosen who isn’t the right person to act for you.
How can a Dallas Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help You?
A Dallas incapacity planning lawyer at Vermillion Law Firm, LLC can help you to make use of the available legal tools to control your own future, even if incapacity occurs. Give us a call at (972) 366-7201 today to learn more.
John R. Vermillion is also licensed in Tennessee and Oklahoma