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Care planning involves considering incapacitation

The creation of wills and trusts is an extremely important process that helps ease the stress experienced by family members in Texas following the loss of a loved one. However, these tools are not the only part of estate planning. Many people also go through care planning, which includes naming a person to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated.

An important tool for this sort of planning is a power of attorney. This allows someone else to make financial decisions for the person should he or she become unable to do so. There are several options when it comes to the creation of such a power. For example, some people may choose to have the power of attorney go into effect immediately. In this scenario, the document granting these powers would be stored in a safe place where the person named as an agent can access it in the event of an emergency.

However, some people also choose what is called a "springing power of attorney." In this option, powers are not granted until the person is deemed incompetent. In order to prove incompetency, there must be documents signed by one or more physicians certifying the person's incompetency. While this can add some time to the process, it is a useful option when someone other than a trusted family member is named as the power of attorney.

For those with little experience regarding estate and care planning, the options could seem daunting. However, a professional with experience with the process can help a person fully understand his or her choices and the ramifications of each. By spending time making such decisions, those in Texas can help protect their loved ones from additional burdens and conflict during a time that is already stressful.

Source: lakeconews.com, "Estate Planning: The incapacity trigger", Dennis A. Fordham, Dec. 10, 2016

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