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Protecting yourself, your wishes if you are incapacitated

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2021 | Estate Planning

If you have thought about making an estate plan but put it off, chances are you did so because you don’t think you need one, or you don’t want to think about what happens after you pass away.

However, estate planning is not just about your legacy and what you leave behind. It is also about preserving your voice and wishes if you ever lose the capacity to express yourself.

What worry about incapacity?

Planning for incapacity can be crucial for adults of any age and from any background. While you may think of incapacity as something that only people with a severe mental condition or Alzheimer’s experience, the fact is that it can affect anyone.

For example, if you are one of the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who get into a non-fatal car accident this year, you may be incapacitated. Doctors might induce a coma to prevent further damage; you may be unable to speak or move; you could have a brain injury that leaves you with memory loss or confusion.

A person in these situations can be incapacitated if they cannot communicate or if they are not mentally or physically fit to make decisions.

Planning for incapacity

With this in mind, having a plan for these stressful situations can be quite valuable. Instead of trying to figure out what they should or should not do, your loved ones can refer to the following resources and proceed accordingly.

When you plan for incapacity, you may want to:

  • Appoint a guardian
  • Give someone durable power of attorney
  • Name your health care agent
  • Put your wishes regarding your care in a living will or health care directive
  • Establish a revocable living trust

These measures can make it easier for others to make medical, financial and personal care decisions on your behalf. They also ensure your doctors and loved ones know what you do and do not want, alleviating some of the stress that comes with making difficult decisions.

Incapacity can affect anyone. Rather than put off this type of planning until it is possibly too late, you can call 814-833-2222 to talk to an attorney who can assess your needs and help build the right plan for you.

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