When you look at the demographics as they apply to segmented population growth the statistics are very surprising to many people. Senior citizens are the most rapidly growing group in the United States, and when you drill down another level the oldest among them, the segment of seniors who are 85 years old and above are growing at an even faster rate than senior citizens as a whole. This has some very practical consequences within the realm of estate planning, and when you consider the implications these statistics underscore the need for incapacity planning.
It is important to recognize the fact that one can become either physically or mentally incapacitated, so you can be able to get around well but be mentally unable to make sound personal and/or financial decisions. If you have not stated your wishes and executed the legal documents necessary to name the people that you would like to empower to make these types of decisions in your behalf, the court can be petitioned to appoint a guardian to make your personal decisions for you, and a conservator you make financial decisions on behalf of your estate.
If you would prefer to make your own choices concerning the people who will make decisions for you should you become incapacitated, you can do so with the proper planning. To handle the medical choices you can execute a health care proxy and name someone to make medical decisions in your behalf. Your financial matters can be placed in the hands of a person or entity of your choosing through the assignment of a durable financial power of attorney.
When you have these two documents in place you won’t have to wonder about who will be taking care of things in the event of your incapacitation. You can discuss your wishes with these potential representatives so the decisions that are eventually made in your behalf will be informed by your own personal perspective.