Incapacity and Disability Planning
Life hits us hard sometimes and often without notice. Incapacity or disability can creep up slowly or alter your life in an instant. As with other things in our lives, thoughtful preparation can remove some of the stress and uncertainty we feel while dealing with life changes. How can you go about planning for incapacity or disability?
No One Wants to Think About Incapacity
“The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.
Now, ‘physical difficulty’ doesn’t necessarily mean a problem that will send an individual to a nursing home. It could mean difficulty in daily, at-home tasks. But the cost of long-term care, whether offered at home or in a nursing home, can devastate your financial security.
What Happens If You Don’t Plan for Incapacity or Disability
Failing to plan for incapacity can lead to a mad scramble if you suffer a debilitating health problem. Caregivers may be confused as to what care you want and how to pay for it. Family members may try to help, but may not be experienced enough to know how to get you the assistance you need. You could end up in a facility that is not right for you paying thousands of dollars a month for care you never wanted.
According to Arizona law, if a person has not written down their preferences, a representative must be appointed to make decisions.
What You Can Do Now
A Last Will and Testament generally deals with death, not incapacity. However, it’s still possible to put together a plan that alleviates problems if the time comes that you need long-term care. You may need the following:
- Durable Power of Attorney – allows you to designate a person to make financial decisions for you.
- Revocable Living Trust – can provide access to manage your complete financial picture to make sure you can stay independent as long as possible.
- Living Will – expresses the type and scope of medical treatment you would like.
- Long-term care insurance – provides money to shift the burden of treatment and care to an insurance company.
- Medicaid/ALTCS Planning – can be used to increase your chance of qualifying for Medicaid assistance while leaving as much of your estate intact as possible.
What About My Business?
For business owners, the situation becomes more complicated. It’s best to have some type of business succession plan in place. Review this blog [link to “What Is Your Small Business Succession Plan?” blog] or call for an appointment to discuss your options.
Do You Need an Incapacity or Disability Plan?
To discuss your concerns with an experienced Arizona lawyer, call us at (480) 418-8448 or check out one of our free seminars. We provide estate planning advice for clients throughout Arizona, including Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Mesa, and Tempe.