For many high-worth individuals in Texas, determining how to leave your wealth to your beneficiaries can be complicated. One aspect that people tend to overlook is planning for incapacitation should you become ill and unable to make decisions for yourself. Planning for incapacitation is just as important as the other aspects of managing your estate.
Steps in Planning for Incapacitation
You may think that a will or a trust are the only documents you need for estate planning purposes. However, those documents won’t help you in the present if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. You’ll want to ensure that care for dependents and the orderly management of your wealth occurs if you are incapacitated for any reason and unable to make decisions. You should also stipulate end-of-life wishes if you end up in a vegetative state.
Several legal documents should be part of planning your estate and are relatively easy to draw up. These include:
- A power of attorney that names someone to handle your financial and legal matters
- A health care power of attorney to determine medical treatment and long-term care
- A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability agent to access your protected medical information
- A living will for end-of-life considerations
- Guardianship papers if you have minor children
That may sound like a lot of documentation, but an experienced attorney should lay out these options for you and outline the advantages of each. Taking the time to discuss and determine how to carry out your options will give you peace of mind and reassure your beneficiaries and make their lives easier should incapacitation occur.
Seeing the whole picture
Estate planning involves more than just leaving your wealth to your designated beneficiaries. The financial implications of your decisions are just as important as the legal ones. Working with a professional who understands both is paramount.