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Should I have an incapacity plan?

Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello

We all know that many do not have an estate plan. Indeed, recently (2021), surveyed adults, and they found that only about a third of adults even have a will. This means that even fewer of us have an incapacity plan. Some may not even know what an incapacity plan is, which is why this post will focus on this topic.

What is an incapacity plan?

First, it is important to know that an incapacity plan is part of a fully fleshed out estate plan. However, the incapacity plan, rather than planning for an eventuality (death), it plans for a possibility (incapacity). Incapacity not only refers to when you are unconscious but also when you lose your capacity to make your own decisions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain injuries, etc.). And, an incapacity plan outlines what you want to happen when you cannot make those decisions, how to make those decisions a reality and empowers someone to make those decisions happen.

What are your wishes?

A primary part of the Southeast Michigan incapacity plan is outlining your wishes. These include healthcare, financial and personal wishes. In other words, if you cannot make your own healthcare decisions, what do you want to happen? For example, if you are in a persistent vegetative state, how long do you want to be kept on life support? Do you have any religious objections to medical care? This should all be outlined.

Financial decisions are about how you run your business and paying bills. If you run a business, think about what needs to be done if you cannot do it yourself. What bills need to be paid? Everything else are your personal wishes, like the use or deletion of social media.


Now that your wishes are known, you need to make a listing of how to carry out those wishes. For example, for the bills that need to be paid, you need to list the company, URL and log-in information. For accessing payment account, which cards should be used, and where are they located? If those cards are inaccessible, which Detroit companies hold your accounts, including bank, brokerage and cryptocurrency accounts, and how do you access those funds? Do any accounts need third-party authentication or the use of some hardware storage locker? Think about how all of your wishes can be conducted, and then document that information.

Who should carry out your wishes?

This is not only selecting someone but it is also empowering someone with a power of attorney. Make sure they agree to function as your Southeast Michigan POA and select some backups, just in case.

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