- Approximately 84% of end-of-life-care costs are paid for by a government entity.
- Nearly 3.5% of these costs will be paid out-of-pocket.
- End-of-life care may take place in a hospital, nursing home, hospice or assisted living facility.
No one enjoys considering what will happen at the end of their life. Unfortunately, if you don’t make plans for end-of-life care, you could be stuck with hefty medical bills and pass those bills onto your heirs.
As Atlanta estate planning attorneys, we know that a sound financial plan is important no matter your age or status. It is never too early or too late to put a plan into place that details your final wishes for yourself and your assets. Your attorney at Fouts Legal Group, LLC can assist you in creating a sound incapacity plan that will ensure you are in complete control.
In the event that you become incapacitated, someone will be making decisions on your behalf. Some of those decisions are not the same ones you would have made given the ability or opportunity. When you have a comprehensive plan in place, your loved ones aren’t tasked with making difficult decisions on your behalf. Here’s what you need to know about incapacity planning in Atlanta.
1. It’s Not a Single Plan
Many people are under the belief that they only need a will. Others think they only need a do not resuscitate order (DNR). Still others think a living will is the way to go. In truth, a comprehensive incapacity plan contains different components based upon your situation and needs. You need more than a single document.
An incapacity plan will include a living will which sets forth the type of care you desire should you lose the ability to verbalize your wishes. A DNR will clearly tell your loved ones what you wish for if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.
Different powers of attorney will give the right people power over your health and your estate. When you sit down with an estate planning attorney, they will discuss your current financial situation, what your finances may look like in the future, and what you desire for the end of your life.
2. Money Shouldn’t Stop You
Many people forego creating a comprehensive incapacity plan because they believe attorneys are too expensive. While it’s true that you will have to pay an attorney to assist you, not having a plan could end up being more expensive than paying a lawyer to create one for you.
For example, let’s say that you are involved in a car accident and end up in a coma. Without an incapacity plan, there is no one who is able to access our money to pay the bills that you still owe. That means that for as long as you are unconscious, your rent or mortgage will go unpaid, your car payment won’t be made, and your credit cards will quickly become past due.
You may face eviction, foreclosure or repossession. You may rack up late fees, interest and penalties on credit cards and loans. The negative consequences of not having an incapacity plan in place outweigh the cost of paying an attorney to create a plan.
3. Consider Your Independence
You have made decisions for yourself for the better part of your life. You have made your own money and compiled your own assets. If you don’t have an incapacity plan, your independence is essentially taken away from you.
You will have no say in your end of life care unless you are fortunate enough to have the court appoint someone who is aware of your plans and will follow through with them, even if they have a differing opinion. When you do have a plan in place, your decisions are made well ahead of time, and they are still your own.
4. Plans Change
What if you already have an incapacity plan? If your financial situation has changed, you’ve added to your family or your wishes are no longer what they once were, you need to revise your plan. An estate planning attorney in Atlanta can take care of this for you.
Your plan should be revisited whenever your life situation changes. If you created your plan when you were in your 20s or 30s, for example, you may have a vastly different outlook on life now that you have edged into senior status.
5. Powers of Attorney
You may not know that a power of attorney has nothing to do with a lawyer. A power of attorney is simply a legal document that names the person you want in charge of certain aspects of your life. You may have a healthcare power of attorney, a financial power of attorney, or both.
Your lawyer can help you determine when a power of attorney makes the most sense and can also help you decide who should be named.
Our Atlanta Estate Planning Attorneys Are Here for You
Very few people are comfortable discussing the end of their lives or their wishes should they become incapacitated. It’s a necessity that shouldn’t be avoided simply out of discomfort. An experienced attorney can assist you or a loved one in creating a plan that is sensible, legal and enforceable.
Reach out to your Atlanta estate planning attorney today to schedule a consultation. We can assist you in creating a comprehensive incapacity plan that will cover all aspects of your end-of-life plan. We can help you create a plan no matter your station in life and we will work to ensure that all your wishes are carried out should you be unable to make decisions for your own care.
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