Advance directives for health care should be a part of every estate plan because incapacity planning is part of the equation. A very significant percentage of people who live to an advanced age do in fact suffer from incapacitation at some point in time.
One of the major threats to elders is Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association states that one out of every eight older Americans is an Alzheimer’s sufferer, and this increases to approximately 40% of people who are at least 85 years of age.
Alzheimer’s induced dementia can strip the victim of the ability to make sound decisions.
Incapacity planning involves the creation of durable powers of attorney. Because these instruments are in fact “durable”, they remain in effect even after the incapacitation of the grantor.
There are different types of decisions that may become necessary. As a result, you may have separate representatives in mind to make different types of decisions. You can execute a durable power of attorney for health care and name an attorney-in-fact to make these decisions.
You could additionally name attorneys-in-fact to make financial decisions when you execute a durable financial power of attorney.
When it comes to medical decisions, you must also execute a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release. Because of this Act, physicians and hospitals are not allowed to release medical records to anyone unless authorization has been given in writing, and your family and/or attorney-in-fact will need this authorization to make decisions on your behalf.
If you are not currently prepared, we would be more than happy to help you get these important documents in place. Click this link to set up an appointment: Free Incapacity Planning Consultation