Making an estate plan for incapacitation

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Estate Planning |

It’s important to write down your wishes in the event you suddenly become incapacitated due to injury or illness. Incapacity plans are not one document but a mixture of several strategies. You can expect incapacity plans to contain several components in Texas.

What is included in a living will?

Living wills express your personal preferences on medical treatment if you are rendered unconscious or unable to communicate. However, a living will does nothing for your property once you die, unlike that of a last will and testament.

Do not resuscitate orders

Do not resuscitate orders, or DNRs, are most often applied to individuals who are either terminally ill or at increased risk of life-threatening complications in the event that they are resuscitated. This document can stand alone or as part of your overall incapacity plan.

How do incapacity plans impact estate planning?

Part of an incapacity plan under estate law is selecting who can ultimately make decisions for you. If you haven’t written down your wishes in advance, a guardian or conservator gets appointed by the court to make decisions about your finances and estate. However, they have to wait for the court’s judgment before acting for you.

If you’ve made it apparent that you have an incapacity plan for your estate and finances, you have full control over who represents you. This means that if you’re unable to speak for yourself, your representatives can take action to defend you. Those same appointees will follow the previously made decisions you have outlined in your incapacity plan.

Will others take advantage of your planning?

This is a common concern many people have when considering incapacity plans. Some may argue that it gives others the explicit permission to take advantage of you while others say that those in the incapacity plan might not act in your personal best interest. However, these concerns are mostly unfounded. The people you give power to in your incapacity plan have a legal responsibility to make decisions that are in your best interest and could face legal repercussions if they abuse their power.