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Why You Should Include Incapacity Planning in Your Estate Plan

Why You Should Include Incapacity Planning in Your Estate Plan

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Published by Richard Schneider
To ensure that both you and your loved ones are protected in the event incapacity strikes you need to include incapacity planning in your overall estate plan.
To ensure that both you and your loved ones are protected in the event incapacity strikes you need to include incapacity planning in your overall estate plan.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Richard Schneider on Jan 16, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/16/2014

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To Ensure that Both You and Your Loved Ones are Protected in the Event Incapacity Strikes You Need to Include Incapacity Planning in Your Overall Estate Plan
 
W
HY
OU
S
HOULD
I
NCLUDE
I
NCAPACITY
P
LANNING
 
IN
OUR
E
STATE
P
LAN
 
RICHARD B. SCHNEIDER
 
 
Why You Should Include Incapacity Planning in Your Estate Plan www.rbsllc.com
2
 A thorough estate plan should do much more than simply provide a roadmap for the division of your estate assets when you die. A comprehensive estate plan can also address other goals or objectives as well, such as retirement and long-term care planning, special needs planning, and incapacity planning. Just as many people prefer not to think about their own immortality, those same people often prefer not to consider the possibility of their own incapacity. The reality is that incapacity can strike anyone at any time. To ensure that both you and your loved ones are protected in the event incapacity strikes, you need to include incapacity planning in your overall estate plan.
I
NCAPACITY BY THE
N
UMBERS
 
When most people hear the term “incapacity” they envision an older
person suffering from an age-related dementia disease such as Al
zheimer’s
disease. While age-related dementia diseases do certainly cause incapacity
with an estimated one in three seniors dying with Alzheimer’s disease,
there are other ways that you could become incapacitated at a much younger age. A tragic car accident, for example, or a debilitating illness could cause incapacity at any age. In fact, statistics tell us that we all have a one in five chance of becoming disabled or incapacitated at some point prior to reaching age 65. After you turn 65 your incapacity risk jumps to one in two, or 50 percent. If you are fortunate enough to make it to age 80 your chance of becoming incapacitated rises to three in four, or 75 percent.
 
 
Why You Should Include Incapacity Planning in Your Estate Plan www.rbsllc.com
3
I
NCAPACITY
D
EFINED
 
 According to the laws of Oregon, law you are considered
incapacitated “if
you cannot make decisions well enough to get health care, food, shelter, and other care necessary to avoid serious physical injury or illness and,
therefore, need continuing care and supervision.” ORS 125.060 through
ORS 125.080.
C
ONSEQUENCES OF
N
OT
P
LANNING
 A
HEAD
 
Often, the best way to explain why you should do something is to explain what happens if you fail to do it. That approach typically works well when it comes to trying to explain the need for incapacity planning. Imagine that you are happily married with two children. Without warning you are involved in a tragic car accident tomorrow morning on your way to work. As a result of the collision you are comatose. The doctors give your family the news that you stand less than a 20 percent chance of ever coming out of the coma. If you do regain consciousness the chance of severe brain damage is great. You clearly meet the legal definition of incapacitated at this point. If you failed to create an incapacity plan prior to the collision, there could be a number of negative consequences that follow, such as:

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