Most people understand why an estate plan is important. Deciding who will receive what after your death is something that most people consider at some point. Planning for your own incapacity, on the other hand, is not something most Atlanta residents think to do. Incapacity planning, however, is equally as important to estate planning for a variety of reasons.
One way to illustrate why incapacity planning is so important is to explain what happens in the event your become incapacitated without a plan in place. Imagine that you are involved in a tragic accident and are lying in a coma in the hospital. If you are married, you may assume that your spouse will have access to your bank accounts, be able to make healthcare decisions for you and decide where you will live. If you are single, you may be under the impression that a parent or adult child could easily step in and take control. In most cases, this is not true. Typically, your parent, child or spouse must petition a court and be approved as your guardian or conservator. Clearly, at this point you have no say in the matter. It could be that you wanted your spouse to make decisions for you, but your parent actually petitions the court and is approved.
By creating an incapacity plan when you create your estate plan, you can eliminate the uncertainty and avoid a situation where your loved one or family member is required to become entangled in the court system in order to make decisions
Pyke & Associates, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.