If you have a loved one who has become incapacitated, as a result of Alzheimer’s or simply the natural aging process, seeking guardianship may be your only option if you wish to keep them and their assets safe. A guardianship is a relationship established by a court of law between the person who needs help, referred to as the “ward,” and the person or entity named by the court to help the ward, known as the “Guardian.” Considered the option of last resort because of its restrictive nature, … [Read more...] about What can I do if a loved one become incapacitated but failed to plan ahead for the possibility?
A revocable living trust is often used in an incapacity plan. When used to help plan for the possibility of incapacity, a revocable living trust works by allowing you to appoint yourself as the Trustee of the trust and appoint someone of your choosing as the successor Trustee. Your estate assets are then transferred into the trust. Because you are the Trustee, you continue to control those assets just as before; however, if you become incapacitated the successor Trustee (chosen by you) takes … [Read more...] about How can a revocable living trust help me with incapacity planning?
An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to plan ahead and make your own end-of life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate those wishes at some later time and/or appoint someone to make decisions for you. State law dictates what types of advance directives are recognized in the state. North Dakota recognizes two types of advanced directives, including: Power of Attorney for Health Care which allows you to appoint someone as your Agent to make health … [Read more...] about What is an advanced directive and how can one help?
A Power of Attorney is a legal agreement that allows you (the “Principal”) to grant another person (your “Agent”) the legal authority to act in your place in legal matters. That authority can be general, allowing your Agent almost unfettered power to act on your behalf, or limited, only granting your Agent the authority to act on your behalf in specific situations or for a designated period of time. While a Power of Attorney can be a helpful incapacity planning tool, it has some drawbacks, … [Read more...] about Will a Power of Attorney take care of these problems?
Incapacity planning utilizes legal strategies and tools that collectively determine who will control your assets and make important decisions for you in the event you are ever incapacitated. It allows you to make crucial decisions now instead of a judge making them for you later. … [Read more...] about What is incapacity planning?
Many people fail to plan for incapacity because they mistakenly believe this to be the case. The reality is that even if you are married there is no guarantee that it will be your spouse or a family member making serious, even life or death, healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them. Sometimes, more than one family member believes that he/she should be the one making those decisions, The result is a court battle that could result in a family feud that leaves the family divided. … [Read more...] about Won’t my spouse or another family member automatically be able to step in and make decisions for me if I can’t make them?
On a daily basis, you control what happens to your assets; however, if you were to become incapacitated tomorrow someone would have to take over control of those assets. In the absence of an incapacity plan that dictates who that person will be, you have no way of knowing who will end up in control of your assets. More than one person could feel that they have the right to step in and take control, resulting in costly litigation. … [Read more...] about What happens to my assets if I become incapacitated without a plan in place?
Yes, you do. In fact, if you are relatively young and healthy you probably need to be more worried about a period of incapacity than you do death. Up to about age 40 you are three times more likely to become incapacitated than you are to die. One in four of today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition before they reach retirement age. Because you undoubtedly care what happens to you and your assets if incapacity does strike, it is … [Read more...] about Do I really need to plan for incapacity if I’m still young and healthy?