Creating a plan for incapacity is one of the smartest things that you can do to protect the people you care about, and to protect yourself. You work hard to amass assets, and you want to ensure that your incapacity doesn’t deprive your family of your legacy. You also need to make sure you have some degree of autonomy when it comes to medical care in an emergency situation. Incapacity planning can address these issues, and more.
Hodgkins Law, PLLC provides invaluable assistance with planning for what happens if you get sick or hurt. Our Brunswick, ME incapacity planning lawyer will help you to understand the steps you need to take and will help you to make effective use of legal tools. Give us a call today at 207-358-3270 to find out more about the assistance we offer, and how the peace of mind that comes with knowing your plan is in place. We offer answers to incapacity planning questions, including:
- When should incapacity planning start?
- What happens if there is no incapacity plan in place?
- How can an incapacity planning lawyer help?
When Should Incapacity Planning Start?
Incapacity can happen at any moment as a result of an illness or injury. It is not just a problem for the elderly. Because of the risks that everyone faces in their daily lives, it is best to have a plan in place for what will happen if something happens to you. As soon as you are old enough to make your own decisions on your medical care, and to communicate those wishes in enforceable legal form, you should make your incapacity plan.
Incapacity planning also becomes important as you acquire more possessions. When you have built up wealth, started a business, or made investments, you want to protect all of the assets you have worked hard to acquire. Someone is going to need to take care of this money and property if something happens to you, because otherwise you could lose what you have built. An incapacity plan gives you control over who is going to take care of your nest egg for you when you no longer can.
What Happens if There is No Incapacity Plan in Place?
One of the big reasons why it is important to begin incapacity planning right away is because of the serious consequences which can befall you and your family if something happens to you and you do not have an incapacity plan in place.
If something happens to harm you and you have no incapacity plan in place:
- Your family could be forced to make really hard choices about your medical care. No family wants to make the agonizing decision to withhold medical care from a loved one with a terminal illness or permanent injury. If you do not have a plan in place, however, your family could be forced to decide to pull the plug on machines keeping you alive. Advanced directives like a living will and Do Not Resuscitate order can help ensure your loved ones never have to make this painful choice.
- Your family could fight over the medical care you would want. You don’t want to have your family struggling to decide who should make decisions on your behalf- especially if they truly cannot agree and end up in court. You can name a healthcare proxy to make clear your preference for who should make medical care choices for you.
- You could end up getting unwanted care. Your family might decide to use a feeding tube or other extraordinary measures to keep you alive when you would have preferred not to continue living under such circumstances.
- Your estate could be reduced in value. If you have no one to manage your assets, your family could be forced to go to court to secure guardianship. The value of assets could be lost due to a delay in determining who should be responsible for managing those assets. The value of assets could also be reduced because of mismanagement if the wrong person is chosen to take care of your property and investments.
You also need to ensure you have a plan for how nursing home costs will be covered in case an incapacitating illness or injury necessitates that you receive custodial care in a nursing home setting. An attorney can help you to make a MaineCare plan so your assets are protected and nursing home bills are covered.
How Can an Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help?
A Brunswick, Maine incapacity planning lawyer at Hodgkins Law, PLLC can help you to make sure you have your assets protected and your medical decisions made in case an injury or illness leaves you incapacitated. Give us a call at 207-358-3270 to find out more about the ways in which we can assist with your incapacity plan.