All California residents should plan for their futures. Estate planning is one of the best ways to do that. Documents that address the possibility of incapacity should be included in your estate plan.
Explaining incapacity planning
Although many people are living longer, their quality of life may not be ideal. No one knows what the future holds, but incapacity planning can help protect you in the event that you are ever affected by an illness or injury that leaves you unable to communicate your wishes. This type of planning allows you to take control ahead of time by ensuring that your healthcare and financial wishes are upheld.
Incapacity planning documents you need
Powers of attorney for finances and healthcare matters should always be included in your estate plan. These legal documents allow you to choose agents who will ensure that your finances are kept in order and that your medical care wishes are followed, respectively. A healthcare power of attorney is also known as a healthcare proxy.
A living will allows you to determine how or whether you wish to receive life-sustaining methods if you are in certain situations. For example, if you prefer to have a ventilator and feeding tube, you can express that in your living will. Likewise, if you prefer not to have such measures taken, a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order can convey those wishes to medical professionals if you are ever in such a situation.
Your will lets you name beneficiaries and guardians for your minor children if you pass before they reach the age of 18. It can allow you to determine how you want your assets distributed after you’re gone. A will can also make probate faster and lets you outline your final arrangements.