No one wants to think about a time when they might have to face a disability but the truth is, it could happen to any one of us, at any time. Experts estimate that about 60% of Americans will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime due to disability or incapacity.
And if that disability or incapacity prevents you from speaking on your own behalf, you would be powerless to make important decisions that affect your estate and your well-being.
Fortunately, there are things you can do now to prepare for disability.
Disability insurance, for example, can help cover your expenses when you’re unable to work. This type of insurance is frequently provided at little to no cost by your employer however, you can purchase disability insurance directly from insurance companies. Short term disability can help cover your expenses while you’re recovering from an injury or are in the early stages of disability. The time period can range from two weeks to as long as two years.
Long term disability on the other hand, is designed to cover more serious conditions and can replace anywhere from 50-70% of your salary.
In addition to disability insurance, you should have your estate planning attorney help you draft a set of Advanced Directives that include a Living Will, a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Durable Financial Power of Attorney. The Living Will tells your healthcare providers how you would like to be treated in certain situations. It also allows you to specify what medical treatments you do or don’t want.
A Healthcare Power of Attorney grants authority to someone of your choosing to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that your specific condition is not covered in your Living Will.
The Durable Financial Power of Attorney grants similar authority but only with respect to your financial affairs. This document allows someone to pay your bills, access your financial accounts and take care of your day-to-day finances.
For more information on incapacity planning, contact our office today.