Many of us go through life believing everything will go according to plan. However, as the saying goes, even the best-laid plans go astray. So, to avoid unnecessary interruptions later in life that can be both financially and emotionally costly, it is wise to plan now for the possibility of incapacity.

Incapacity can come in several forms, and it can occur suddenly or gradually over a period of time. Some of the negative impacts of incapacity — especially dealing with finances and health-care decision-making — can be avoided by having your estate plans prepared in advance. Planning for incapacity can include things like having all the appropriate estate planning documents (e.g.,durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, will and/or trust) drafted and executed. However, each person is different, so you should consult with an estate planning attorney to provide guidance and explain the documents you will need to be best prepared in the event of incapacity.

In addition to estate planning documents, it can be very helpful that you prepare others, such as family and friends, for the possibility of incapacity. Having a frank conservation with them about your wishes and directions can limit the emotional impact and provide clarity about your estate plan.

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