How To Review Benefits And Insurance For Possible Incapacity Planning

Working through the financial and estate planning process means thinking about what happens to you or your assets if you become unable to speak for yourself or care for yourself. Planning for the unexpected and developing contingency plans is crucial, even though you hope you never have to activate these plans.

Unwelcome events can turn your life upside down, and you should start by considering what benefits you really do have in order to decide other ways you need to invest in potential benefits. Look at your employer’s insurance policies and benefits. For example, do you have any other insurance coverage that may apply if you were to become disabled or unable to work? Short term and long term disability policies may come with your employment, or you may have purchased these privately. They will give you a portion of your income if your claim is approved and you’re unable to work.

However, review details about the waiting period before benefits begin and how long they will pay out and at what rate. Disability benefits can be taxable if your employer pays the premium on this disability insurance policy. However, if you are personally paying the premiums, the disability benefits may be tax free. Consider the potential income received through Social Security Disability Income should your assigned disability be expected to last for longer than a year.

If you are concerned about losing your ability to work in Virginia because of a disability, you need to consult with an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer. A lawyer can help you walk through the important questions for incapacity planning and to put you on track for what you need to evaluate.



What are Some Reasons for Someone to Get Incapacitated?

Estate planning seems like the right choice for someone older with a lot of assets, but this overlooks the possibility of incapacity issues that could derail your family or chosen agents from being able to act quickly.

Incapacity planning is all about thinking through who is authorized to make decisions or take actions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. When this happens and you haven’t done any advanced planning, your loved ones might have to go to court to get approved as your guardian. This is all easily avoided with a power of attorney document created by an estate planning lawyer.

Some things that might prompt the need for a power of attorney document include:

  • A car or workplace accident where you’re unable to speak for yourself for a few days
  • Going into surgery where you might intentionally or unintentionally be unconscious for a period of time
  • An issue with dementia in which your condition deteriorates from mentally sound to unable to make decisions for yourself rapidly
  • Getting extremely ill, such as developing COVID and relying on a respirator for a short period of time
  • Going into a coma

In any of these situations, you might need someone to manage your financial affairs. While something like a planned surgery gives you advanced notice to get your POA done, other issues named above come out of nowhere and can make things very difficult for your family.

For more information on how to create a power of attorney document, speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Virginia Beach today.