Barrington personal injury attorney, Barrington divorce lawyer


Personalized Legal Services in
Barrington and Schaumburg, Illinois

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
Real Estate
Wills, Trusts
& Probate
General Civil

What is Incapacity Planning and Why is it Important?

 Posted on March 15, 2022 in Estate Planning

IL estate attorneyThe fact is that most people who live to a certain age are likely to experience age-related mental incapacity. Alzheimer's, dementia, and the natural effects of aging can lead you to become confused, disoriented, and unable to make important decisions or manage your own affairs. Someone else will have to step in and start making medical and personal decisions, as well as managing your finances. If no incapacity planning has been done, the most likely solution is court-ordered guardianship. Guardianship proceedings are public and can be very upsetting to the ward, who has little or no say over who the guardian will be. Incapacity planning allows you to make certain decisions ahead of time or appoint others to do so for you without any court involvement, so do not neglect this important part of estate planning.

What Legal Documents Are Part of Incapacity Planning?

When you start working on your incapacity plan, there are several documents your lawyer may use. These documents and their purposes include:

  • Living will - A living will allows you to directly make a few decisions about your end-of-life care. It does not take effect until you are incapacitated and terminally ill. You can make choices like whether you would want life-prolonging care in this situation or simply comfort care.
  • Health care power of attorney - If you are incapacitated, someone else will have to make medical decisions for you and access your medical records to inform those decisions. With a health care power of attorney, you can choose who that person will be. This gives you an opportunity to talk with that person and make sure they understand your wishes and are prepared to carry them out. It takes effect when you are deemed incapacitated.
  • Financial powers of attorney - These documents allow you to choose someone you would want to manage your financial affairs when you are no longer able to. This person will need to do things like making sure your bills are getting paid and managing your Social Security benefits. It takes effect either when you become incapacitated, or at any other time you choose.

You can be specific about what your agent can and cannot do on your behalf. You can add clauses saying that your agent must consent to pain control measures, but may not consent to treatment for incurable cancer. Or, you could use a clause in your financial power of attorney that prohibits your agent from selling the family home.

Who Should Have an Incapacity Plan?

Everyone should have one. Even if you are young and healthy, an accident or illness could leave you temporarily or even permanently incapacitated. For aging adults, incapacity planning is urgent. If you are a senior citizen and have not executed these documents, now is the time.

Call an Illinois Incapacity Planning Lawyer

When you are ready to make an incapacity plan, Lucas Law can help. Our skilled Barrington incapacity planning attorneys will walk you through the steps. Call us at 847-381-8700 to get started with a free consultation.



Share this post:
elite lawyer elite lawyer Avvo Profile Lake County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association
Back to Top