If you suffer a stroke or are hit by a car and rushed into the hospital today, unable to speak or communicate due to your illness or injury, what will happen to you, your assets, and your family? This is a question faced by many every single day and this is just one of many scenarios in which incapacity could happen. If you have not made plans in case one of these tragic and unexpected events happens to you, you and your family are in jeopardy.
There are legal tools in place designed to help individuals and families be prepared in advance for emergency situations. You can make use of these legal tools to spare your family difficult choices, protect your autonomy, and ensure that you get to control how decisions are made on quality of life issues.
Thompson Law, P.C. can help. Our Sioux Falls incapacity planning lawyers will work with you to ensure you address the issues that matter to you and your family’s future in case of incapacity. Give us a call to find out about the personalized planning solutions we provide and to get answers to questions you have about incapacity planning including:
- When should I make an incapacity plan?
- What should be part of the incapacity planning process?
- How can an incapacity planning lawyer help?
When Should You Make an Incapacity Plan?
If an accident or illness happens and leaves you incapacitated, it will be too late for you to make plans for your medical decisions, for the management of your assets, and for any long-term care you need. Because an accident or illness can occur at any time, no matter your age, you should make an incapacity plan today if you do not have one.
Making your plans in advance of the time when something goes wrong ensures that you spare your family a stressful and complicated process of gaining control of your assets and gaining authority to make decisions. It ensures that there is no financial loss suffered because your assets are unmanaged for a period of time after you become incapacitated, and it protects your wealth in case your injury or illness necessitates costly nursing home care. It also allows you to be the final decision-maker when it comes to what extraordinary measures you do, and don’t, want to keep you alive.
Talk with Thompson Law, P.C. today to make your plans, or to ensure your incapacity plan is updated and legally valid in case the worst occurs.
What Should be Part of the Incapacity Planning Process?
The incapacity planning process is a very personal process in which you make some of the most heart-wrenching decisions of your life regarding how you weigh quality of living versus the possibility of a future cure.
Your plan must be personalized to accomplish your goals and to meet both your needs and the needs of your loved ones. Thompson Law, P.C. can help with the creation of a plan that is designed solely to address the issues that matter to you.
Some of the different legal tools that Thompson Law, P.C. could help you to use in your incapacity planning process include:
- Trusts: Living trusts are useful to facilitate the management of assets and to ensure that if your illness or injury is a fatal one, your assets will transfer quickly to new owners. You can also use trusts to protect assets from being lost in case you require costly long-term nursing home care, which is necessary after some illnesses or injuries and which may not be covered by most insurers.
- Powers of attorney: When you create a power of attorney, you get to control who acts on your behalf, rather than the court appointing a person to make decisions when you are incapacitated. A power of attorney spares your family the stress of court proceedings and uncertainty over who should manage your assets and make your decisions. It also allows for your chosen agent to act immediately and with certainty of purpose, rather than a long delay occurring as the court appoints someone who you may not want making your choices.
- Advanced directives: Rather than forcing your family to decide when and how to keep you alive, advanced directives give you the chance to make choices about what kinds of medical care are appropriate for you in emergency circumstances.
You want to work with an experienced attorney not only to select the right incapacity planning tools but also to make certain that your plans are legally valid so there are no unexpected problems that arise when it is too late for you to fix them.
How can an Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help?
A Sioux Falls incapacity planning lawyer can assist with every aspect of planning ahead for illness and injury. Give us a call at 605-362-9100 or contact us online to talk with Thompson Law, P.C. about how our firm can help you.