Life can change in an instant, and a serious illness or an injury could leave you struggling for your life. If you are in a position where you cannot communicate, make your own decisions, or manage your own affairs, both you and your loved ones are in a precarious position. Your assets could be at risk, you could end up with medical care you don’t want, and your family could be forced to make tough choices.
You don’t have to let this happen. If you make an incapacity plan while you are healthy, you can control your own future and ensure that you and your loved ones are cared for appropriately no matter what occurs. You can maintain autonomy and control over your medical care and protect your property when you get help creating a comprehensive incapacity plan. Contact Zimmer Law Firm today to find out how we can assist you and to get answers to questions including:
- When should I create an incapacity plan?
- What will my incapacity plan include?
- How can a Cincinnati incapacity planning lawyer help?
When Should I Create an Incapacity Plan?
If you do not have an incapacity plan in place already, now is the time to create one. Many people believe that incapacity planning is only an issue for the elderly, but this could not be further from the truth. A sudden stroke, a car accident, or a host of other misfortunes could leave anyone of any age unable to communicate or handle financial affairs.
Without a plan, your family could be forced to go to court to have you declared incapacitated and to have a guardian appointed. The guardian who will get to make your decisions for you may be someone you wouldn’t have given this responsibility to. Your family could also end up fighting over the kinds of medical care you receive, or forced to make tough choices about discontinuing care. If the wrong choices are made, you could face being kept alive with no quality of life.
Only by planning in advance of incapacity can you ensure your wishes are known, your family avoids an unnecessary struggle, and your property and assets are managed in the most appropriate way possible.
What Should an Incapacity Plan Include?
It is up to you to determine exactly what should be a part of your incapacity plan. Zimmer Law Firm can help you to understand the different tools that are available under Ohio law to plan for a time when you cannot communicate or act on your own behalf. Some of the different components of your incapacity plan may include:
- A living will.When a living will is created, you can name a backup trustee. The backup trustee will get authority to manage trust assets in the event you become incapacitated and cannot manage them on your own. The trustee will have a fiduciary duty- the highest duty under the law- to manage the trust assets for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries.
- An advanced directive. An advanced directive allows you to specify in advance if you want CPR, artificial hydration or nutrition (a feeding tube), or other life-saving care if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
- A durable power of attorney. This allows you to name someone who will be your agent and who will manage your affairs and make financial decisions if you cannot act due to incapacity. You can create a springing durable power of attorney if you do not want your agent to have authority until incapacity occurs.
- A healthcare power of attorney. Your advanced directive doesn’t cover every medical situation. If you create a healthcare power of attorney, you can name a healthcare proxy who will make your medical care decisions for you in situation where you are not able to communicate your wishes.
These are just a few of the components of an incapacity plan. It is important to understand what happens if you become incapacitated and how you can take advantage of legal tools to control your situation even when you no longer have the ability to be your own advocate.
How Can a Cincinnati Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help Me?
A Cincinnati incapacity planning lawyer at Zimmer Law Firm can offer you the advice you need to create a comprehensive incapacity plan that will protect you and those you love. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the assistance we can provide.