Estate Planning Tips:  A Guide to Planning for Incapacity

Estate Planning Tips: A Guide to Planning for Incapacity


Many people have difficulty starting their foray into Estate Planning because, let’s face it, confronting mortality by compiling paperwork and filling out forms is no one’s idea of a delightful afternoon activity. A good way to ease into your Estate Planning journey is to start with an achievable goal in mind that can even improve your quality of life, should you find yourself injured or ill. While still not a fun thought, it is likely that at some point in everyone’s life, they will require additional services to help them live comfortably and actively.

A well-conceived estate plan covers all of your bases, from death to medical emergencies to the possibility of incapacitation. While concern pertaining to incapacitation is typically at the top of the list for seniors, anyone can get injured, and everyone should have a game plan. The following is a comprehensive guide to planning for incapacity.

What is Incapacity Planning?

Apart from the self-explanatory definition (the act of planning for possible incapacitation), there are a few important factors that go into incapacity planning. Particularly, incapacity planning is the process of taking important precautionary measures that will help you prepare for either permanent or temporary incapacity. Not only do these plans benefit you, but they will also aid your family as they make important decisions.

Documents and Statements to Prepare for Incapacity Planning

Rather than one physical document, your incapacity plan is a moving part that your attorney can help you incorporate into the many facets of your estate plan. While considering your incapacity plan, you will want to evaluate the following documents:

  • Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) or LaPOST Form. While bleak, this document is one of the most important in your incapacity planning arsenal. Can you imagine an incapacitating situation in which you would refuse to accept resuscitative measures? Then it is advisable to include a DNR in your estate planning. Many people who do are already suffering from a seriously incapacitating or incurable ailment, and resuscitation may only increase the likelihood of complications and discomfort. In Louisiana, this document is called an LaPOST form.
  • Advance Directive or Living Will. This document is used when two physicians who have personally examined you determine that your death will occur whether or not life-sustaining procedures are used. It states what kind of health care you wish to receive in that event. These directives only apply if you are alive and have no bearing on the distribution of your assets after you die.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy. A Health Care Power of Attorney is a variety of advance medical directive. This document designates a trusted person to have the legal right to make important medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated.
  • HIPPA Documents. Do you intend to enable your loved ones to make important medical decisions on your behalf? Then you will also have to prepare a HIPPA release. This document allows health care providers to disclose what would otherwise be confidential medical information to your selected family or loved ones.
  • Trust or Living Trust. Even succession documents can be used as a tool to strengthen your incapacity planning. When you generate this trust, you can select a “successor” trustee who will manage your assets should you become incapacitated.

Schedule an Incapacity Planning Consultation with the Law Office of Edward J. McCloskey

Edward J. McCloskey has been helping Louisiana residents with their estate planning for over 45 years. He knows that it is never easy to get the ball rolling, which is why he and his team will lead you step-by-step through incapacity planning methodically and patiently. Call the Law Office of Edward J. McCloskey for a Consultation! 504-267-3122