If you have an elder living in California, you may benefit from learning more about planning for incapacity. Unlike retirement or estate planning, incapacity planning is preparing for the possibility, rather than the inevitable. Incapacity is defined as the inability to make reasonable decisions concerning your own personal and financial affairs. As you get older, the possibility of incapacitation becomes more likely. Nearly 15% of all seniors over age 70 suffer from some form of dementia.

Why plan for incapacity?

A incapacity plan could come into play for seniors suffering from dementia, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s. Suffering a traumatic brain injury or falling into a coma from a car accident would also call for an incapacity plan. Like estate planning, not having an incapacity plan in place is usually more costly than actually setting one up. Without an incapacity plan, someone else will be making critical choices for you when you’re unable to.

How to plan for incapacity

incapacity plan isn’t a singular document, it should have multiple parts. The living will serves as an advance medical directive, regarding your care, should you continue to live without the ability to communicate. Do Not Resuscitate orders are often included as a part of the living will. A health care power of attorney is another type of advance medical directive appointing a health surrogate the legal right to make medical choices on your behalf.

Preparing and planning for incapacity

If you’re interested in planning for incapacity, contact a lawyer today. Legal counsel can help guide you through the process and help ensure the incapacity plan has you fully covered. Lawyers might also help you set up the other protections available, like the HIPAA release, durable power of attorney for finances, and revocable living trust.