Many individuals believe that incapacity planning is exclusively for individuals near retirement age and that only the elderly may benefit from this. However, accidents may happen at any moment and leave us mentally and physically unable to function as we had before. A vehicle accident, for example, may put victims in a coma. Additionally, medical events such as a stroke can significantly impair one’s ability to care for themselves, while illnesses like Alzheimer’s erode a person’s mental capability over time. Studies show that most adults will be incapacitated for a period during their lives, some for many years. But if you prepare ahead of time, you can choose a representative to act on your behalf if you cannot handle your affairs. If you do not have a proper incapacity plan ready, others will make this choice for you.
Why is it important to plan for incapacity?
From Howard Hughes to Prince and now Chadwick Boseman, we hear about people who have access to millions of dollars and they still die without a will. Recently we learned of the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, a hero to many for his portrayal of the Black Panther in the Marvel comic’s movies. Now we have learned through a probate filing in California that he died without leaving a will. I don't know in particular why Mr. Boseman and other any of these other famous people don’t get around to doing their estate planning, but it probably says something about how we really hate to think about death. But the truth is we all go some time and we can't take it with us.