Estate planning is about more than deciding what will happen after you die. You also need to decide what happens if you become incapacitated or disabled. At the Law Offices of Frye and Vazquez, we know that no one in Florida wants to think about the possibility of disability or incapacity. Nevertheless, thinking about and planning for it is an aspect of estate planning at least as important as making out a will. It may even be more important because it could affect you directly in the future, while your will only affects those you leave behind.
There are several reasons why it is important to plan for incapacity or disability. Appointing one or two individuals responsible for managing your affairs can prevent financial professionals and health care providers from receiving mixed messages. It can also help to prevent disagreements among family members over how to best handle your affairs.
Planning for disability or incapacity is crucial to protecting the right of a domestic partner to whom you are not married. If you fail to establish your partner as power of attorney, your family members may exclude him or her from the decision-making process, and the hospital may bar him or her from your bedside if you are in serious condition or completely incapacitated.
When planning for incapacity or disability, it is important to gather and organize all relevant documents and records. Some planning documents may require you to undergo legal capacity counseling to ensure that you have the ability to make sound decisions for yourself. More information about the various aspects of estate planning is available on our website.