Estate planning is often thought of as a financial endeavor. Indeed, you do facilitate postmortem asset transfers when you plan your estate. However, you should also prepare for some of the eventualities that you may face toward the end of your life. With this in mind, we will look at the value of durable powers of attorney in this post.
Without question, it is not the most pleasant thing to consider, but a very significant percentage of elders become incapacitated late in their lives. There are those who cannot communicate because they are suffering from debilitating physical conditions, and there are also people who suffer from mental incapacitation.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of incapacitation among elders in the United States. Everyone should have an understanding of this disease, and you can find a lot of useful information on the Alzheimer’s Association website.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 40 to 45 percent of the oldest old are suffering from this disease. The term “oldest old” describes people who are at least 85 years of age.
The oldest segment of the population is growing at a very rapid rate. The United States Census Bureau tells us that the portion of the population that was between 85 and 94 grew faster than any other ten-year age group between the years 2000 and 2010.
People with Alzheimer’s disease experience dementia, and dementia sufferers are typically going to become unable to make sound decisions on their own.
To prepare for possible incapacity, you could execute durable powers of attorney. The durable designation allows the power of attorney to remain in effect even if you do become incapacitated.
When you create a durable power of attorney, you are called the principal or the grantor. Within the document you name an agent or attorney-in-fact. This person can act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
To account for medical decision-making, you could execute a durable power of attorney for health care. You could name an agent to handle your financial affairs through the execution of a durable financial power of attorney.
When you have your durable powers of attorney in place, you can go forward with the knowledge that hand-picked decision-makers will be in place to act on your behalf if you were to become incapacitated at some point in time.
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