It is in the best interests of anyone setting up an estate plan to include provisions for disability. You can never be sure that you won’t become disabled at least temporarily, and even a few months in a nursing home can jeopardize the financial well-being of the majority of Americans. Your estate attorney in Bryan will help you set up a disability plan that is right for your needs and circumstances.
The statistics on disability among older individuals in this country is alarming. A third of all Americans will become disabled for a period of at least 90 days before reaching age 65. For those beyond age 65, the numbers are even more disconcerting: as many as 44% will become disabled for between 2.4 and 4.7 years. Indeed, nearly one in five nursing home residents remain in such care permanently.
Planning for Disability
No one wants to consider being disabled physically or mentally, but it is far better to be proactive and make plans before the situation arises. The alternative could be a significant diminishment of assets you would otherwise have left to heirs, or even worse—financial difficulties in your last years. When planning for possible disability you need to take into account both whom you wish to appoint to take care of your finances and whom you want to look after your well-being. This individual will have significant authority to make decisions about your treatment, and therefore needs to be someone you trust implicitly.
The following are several tools you should consider in your disability plan:
• Advanced Medical Directive: This instrument grants an individual of your choosing the power to make personal decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so yourself.
• Financial Power of Attorney: This grants another individual authority to serve as “attorney in fact” to take care of your financial matters. You need to consider whether a Durable Power of Attorney or Springing Power of Attorney is best suited to your needs. The former grants the appointed individual immediate access to your assets, while the latter only goes into effect once you are deemed mentally incompetent.
• Revocable Living Trust: If your RLT is worded such as to provide for disability planning, this tool will grant the appointee easier access to your assets.
For Further Information or Help in Creating a Disability Plan
It is very important that you plan for the possibility of becoming disabled as you set up your estate plan. A Bryan estate lawyer at Peterson Law Group can help you and provide any guidance you need. Call 979-703-7014 today.