It is useful to see the big picture when you are making plans for the future. When the topic of estate planning arises, people often immediately think about drawing up a last will or a trust to handle the transfer of assets to their loved ones. Without question, this is a key part of estate planning, but there are some other things to consider if you want to be comprehensively prepared for all of the eventualities of aging.
Most senior citizens do not pass away after having been in good health for the days, weeks, and months that preceded their passing. It is not uncommon to become incapacitated when you reach an advanced age, and this is a possibility that should be planned for in advance.
If you were to become unable to make your own decisions, the court could appoint a conservator to act for you, and you may have no input into who this conservator will be. Conservatorship proceedings can also be expensive and this is another thing to consider.
You can avoid a conservatorship at some point down the line by planning ahead appropriately. If you were to create a revocable living trust to direct the transfer of your assets, it could include a disability trustee who would be empowered to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
Incapacity planning also routinely involves the selection of attorneys in fact to make medical and financial decisions for you should it become necessary via the execution of durable powers of attorney.
Incapacity planning is an important component to a comprehensive estate plan. If you are not currently prepared, you may want to take action right now and arrange for a consultation with an experienced San Jose Area estate planning lawyer. You can also learn more by attending one of our free living trust estate planning seminars.