Christopher S. Nudo
What Aspects of My Estate Plan Will Include Details About Incapacity Planning?
Depending on the type of estate plan that is prepared for you, the level of incapacity planning will vary. Every trust will have specific language about how it should be administered in the event that the grantor or the owner of the trust becomes incapacitated. It is common to prepare healthcare powers of attorney and financial powers of attorney, also referred to as advanced directives, in case the trust owner becomes unable to manage it.
Can I Choose More than One Agent to Hold the Powers of Attorney?
Yes. However, in Illinois, only one agent can act at a time. Therefore, an order of agents is put in place. For example, if a parent assigns a healthcare power of attorney to both his daughters, they will not be able to act as agents at the same time. There must be a selection of which one is the first agent, and if that person is not capable of acting as an agent, then the second selected agent would act.
What is the Role of A Trust in Incapacity Planning?
The role of the trust is to allow a successor trustee to act in the best interest of the grantor, who is the owner of the trust and the person who is presumably disabled. For example, the successor trustee will pay bills and invest money, pay for the care of the grantor, and basically step into the shoes of the incapacitated grantor in order to care for them. The trust has a very vital role in maintaining as much normalcy for everybody as possible, despite the incapacity of the grantor.
What Happens if I Become Incapacitated Before Developing an Incapacity Plan?
In the event that a plan is not developed prior to becoming incapacitated, the county court will hold a proceeding and appoint someone as your guardian. The guardian would be in charge of providing care for your health and finances. The biggest problem with guardianship is that the courts that handle it are very busy, the process is lengthy, expensive, and cumbersome. It is always a much better idea to develop an incapacity plan, prior to becoming incapacitated.
For more information on Incapacity Planning, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.