Incapacity Planning & Caregiver Support

There comes a time in life where adult children will need to deal with difficult challenges related to their parents. When a parent becomes incapacitated because of an illness, disease, or injury, the adult children have a lot of decisions to make. These decisions include whether or not they can care for their parent at home or have to move the parent into an assisted living facility.

Estate planning lawyers have the experience necessary to guide you through these difficult decisions so that your incapacitated parent receives the care he or she needs and deserves. Caregiver support is vital when dealing with a parent who is incapacitated. It can be stressful and overwhelming to be the caregiver but the support system is out there.

You Can Plan for Your Own Incapacity

In the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated, you can ensure that your adult children are prepared for this situation as much as possible by planning for your own incapacity. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can build an estate plan that takes into account possible incapacity so that your adult children know your wishes.

You should have the following legal documents in place:

  • Advance health care directive (provides the person you designate with the power to make medical decisions for you when you can no longer speak for yourself)
  • Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST, which helps you decide with your doctor the treatments you do or do not want if you have a life-threatening illness)
  • Will (outlined how you want your money and assets distributed to beneficiaries upon your death)
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finance (provides access for the person you choose to your checking, savings, and other bank accounts in order to pay your bills)
  • Beneficiary forms (you can make bank accounts, insurance policies, and investment accounts ‘payable on death’ so that they can skip probate and go directly to your beneficiaries when you die)
  • Trusts (this is a legal entity that holds your assets so they do not have to go through probate upon your death)
  • Final arrangements (determine if you’d rather be buried or cremated and make sure your family members know these wishes)

What Caregiver Support is Available for Incapacitated Adults?

The Administration for Community Living has operated the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) since 2000. There are five main services offered by the NFCSP:

  • Information to caregivers about available services
  • Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services
  • Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training
  • Respite care
  • Supplemental services, on a limited basis

The following groups of caregivers are allowed to receive services from the NFCSP as of the 2016 Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act:

  • Adult family members who are over the age of 18 and who are providing care to those who are 60-years-old or older
  • Adult family members who are over the age of 18 and who are providing care to those of any age who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
  • Older relatives of a patient (not parents) age 55 and older who are providing care to children under 18
  • Older relatives of a patient, including parents, age 55 and older who are providing care to adults ranging from 18-59 with disabilities

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you have questions about your estate plan or how to plan for incapacity, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact Brian Dennis, Attorney at Law to schedule a consultation with a member of our team. I can guide you through the planning process so that your adult children understand your wishes should you become incapacitated.