Becoming sick or injured and unable to make decisions for yourself is one of the worst possible fates most people can imagine, and it is not something anyone ever wants to think could happen to them. Unfortunately, if you do not think about what will happen in case of incapacity, you could leave yourself and your family vulnerable to big problems if the worst happens.
Making an incapacity plan is the smartest thing you can do to ensure you are cared for and maintain at least some autonomy, even if a tragedy makes you unable to speak for yourself. Creating a plan in case of incapacity can also allow you to provide comfort, peace of mind, and closure for family members. Augulis Law Firm can help. Give our Warren, New Jersey incapacity planning lawyers a call today at (908) 222-8803 to get personalized advice on your incapacity plan and to get answers to questions including:
- What is involved with incapacity planning?
- What happens if you get sick or hurt without an incapacity plan?
- What does a Warren, NJ incapacity planning lawyer do to help?
What is Involved with Incapacity Planning?
The incapacity planning process involves making plans to:
- Determine what medical care you should receive if you have a health crisis and cannot communicate your wishes.
- Pay for nursing home care if you suffer from a medical condition which necessitates you receive custodial care.
- Ensure your assets are managed appropriately in case of incapacity so the value of your property and investments is not lost.
There are a variety of legal tools used to accomplish these important goals. For example, advanced directives, living wills and a healthcare power of attorney all help you to ensure the right decisions are made in case of a health crisis. A healthcare power of attorney lets you name a healthcare proxy to make decisions for you, while a living will and/or Do Not Resuscitate order actually let you make many decisions in advance.
Asset protection and nursing home planning are also both essential to planning for incapacity and both involve the use of legal tools. For example, both asset protection and nursing home planning could be accomplished using different types of trusts. A living trust lets you name someone to take control over the assets held by that trust in the event of incapacity, while an irrevocable trust allows you to qualify for Medicaid coverage for nursing home costs without having to spend all your money on a nursing home. A power of attorney is also an important tool for naming someone to manage assets, and is an alternative to the use of a living trust.
What Happens if You Get Sick or Hurt Without an Incapacity Plan?
Creating an incapacity plan and using the right legal tools is essential. If you do not have a plan in place:
- Your family could fight over medical decisions in a health crisis.
- Your wishes may not be respected regarding medical care and your life could be cut short or unnecessarily prolonged, despite your wishes to the contrary.
- Your family could be forced to pull the plug or stop life-sustaining medical assistance from being provided to you.
- Your wealth could be reduced or lost due to nursing home costs and/or mismanagement in the event of incapacity.
- Your family could be forced to go to court and initiate guardianship proceedings to take control over your assets and decisions in the event of incapacity.
- Someone could be appointed to serve as your guardian who is not the person you would want making decisions on your behalf.
These are just some of the many problems that arise without a comprehensive incapacity plan in place. No one wants to sentence their family to the fate of legal complications and of guilt at not knowing whether a health decision is the right one. You also don’t want to take a chance on your quality of life. Create a plan so you don’t have to.
How Can a Warren, NJ Incapacity Planning Lawyer Help?
Augulis Law Firm will work with you to consider all of the issues that could arise in the event of incapacity. Our legal team will provide guidance and advice as you make decisions on medical care, asset protection, nursing home care, and other issues that could arise in case of a serious illness or injury. Give our Warren, NJ incapacity planning lawyers a call at (908) 222-8803 or contact us online to learn more.