Planning for Incapacity
In the event you are incapacitated during your lifetime and unable to act for yourself, it’s imperative to have the proper documents in place so your agent may act on your behalf quickly. Without these documents, someone would be required to apply with the court to be named as your guardian and go through the expensive and time-consuming process of a guardianship proceeding.
When we review your estate plan, we’ll update the following documents:
● Durable Power of Attorney
● Health Care Power of Attorney
● Advance Directive for a Natural Death (“Living Will”)
● HIPAA Authorization
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney allows you, the principal, to give another person, an agent of your choosing, permission to act on your behalf. The authority can be granted either out of convenience or during some type of incapacity. A power of attorney can be used for legal, financial, and business transactions in the event you are unable to manage these affairs on your own.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that the principal is unable to do so. Specific instructions in the power of attorney can be included for the agent to voice your personal wishes to the appropriate medical professionals.
Advance Directive for a Natural Death (“Living Will”)
In the event that you have a terminal illness or condition, it is important to have a statement providing directives about the treatment you would like to receive if you do not want your life medically prolonged. You can direct and authorize medical personnel to not prolong your life with any medical treatment such as artificial nutrition through feeding tubes, CPR, surgery, etc. A Living Will gives your health care providers these instructions with regard to withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging measures.
A HIPAA Authorization allows the agents you name to act on your behalf to have access to private health care information and to communicate with your physicians.
The attorneys at North Carolina Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law can prepare these documents as part of your estate plan and ensure that your wishes relative to any incapacity you may suffer are carried out properly. Our senior partner, Jim Hickmon, is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. He and his staff are experienced, strategically minded, and understand the impact incapacity planning decision may have. They can help guide you through the elements you may need to consider. Contact our office for a consultation so that we can guide you through the process of creating directives tailored to your personal circumstances. Firm principal Jim Hickmon is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. Our Firm assists families, executives and entrepreneurs with designing and implementing personal estate planning and wealth preservation strategies. Call us at (704) 248-6325 to schedule your consultation today.