No one ever plans to become disabled. Although everyone realizes that life will end someday, few of us consider the possibility that we will spend a significant portion of our lives unable to fully care for ourselves. Very often, life gets in the way and bad things happen to ordinary people. Disability doesn’t just happen to the elderly or those who pursue risky and dangerous hobbies. Motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, and otherwise common illnesses render many individuals disabled or ‘incapacitated’ every year.
Incapacity planning must be a part of every comprehensive estate plan. Proper planning will allow you to legally designate individuals who can make decisions for your care and empower them to manage your property if you are unable to do so for yourself. As a part of estate planning, there will be sophisticated legal documents involved, but I will help you understand your options and prepare a plan that is tailored to your needs and those of your family. I routinely include “special needs” language in my living trusts so that if a beneficiary becomes disabled and is eligible for federal assistance, your Trustee will be instructed and have the authority to set up a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust to hold the assets which would otherwise be distributed outright to the beneficiary and could cause the termination of federal assistance.