Planning for Incapacity

In addition to a will, a comprehensive estate plan includes a power of attorney and a health care proxy. A power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted person to take care of your financial, property and business affairs if you become incapacitated because of a medical condition or an accident.

A health care proxy allows you to appoint someone to make end-of-life, emergency and routine medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. In addition, medical directives set forth instructions as to whether you want extraordinary medical measures to be taken if you are brain dead or have only a very short time to live. If you become incapacitated without a power of attorney or health care proxy, it may require expensive and intrusive court proceedings to appoint someone to make these decisions.