By preparing for incapacity, estate planners can relieve a burden that may otherwise fall to loved ones and at the same time ensure their wishes for their medical and other care are fulfilled. A closer look at the different estate planning tools to help estate planners plan for incapacity can be useful to review.

An advance healthcare directive, or living will, and a durable power of attorney should always be included in every estate plan. This blog recently discussed including these documents in an estate plan but understanding the specifics of what these estate planning tools can do for the estate planner is beneficial. A durable power of attorney can appoint a trusted individual to handle the estate planner’s financial affairs if they become incapacitated and due to the nature of a durable power of attorney, it will remain in effect even if the estate planner becomes mentally incapacitated which is one of the reasons it is important to have.

A living will or advance healthcare directive includes the types of medical care and treatment the estate planner wishes to receive and may also include the types of medical care and treatment the estate planner does not want to receive. This allows the estate planner’s medical care to be carried out if they become incapacitated. It can also address the estate planner’s wishes related to resuscitation and other end-of-life medical care and concerns. A trusted individual to direct the estate planner’s medical care and treatment can also be appointed in an advance healthcare directive.

A durable power of attorney and advance healthcare directive are on the list of estate planning tools that can help estate planners and their families prepare for the end of life. While estate planning can seem emotionally, and sometimes otherwise, challenging, it helps estate planners and their loved ones better prepare for a period of time to come.

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