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Planning for possible incapacitation eases burden

No one in New York likes to think they won't ever be able to take care of themselves. Whether due to a serious accident, illness or old age, becoming incapacitated can happen at any time, however. There are steps that should be taken now to reduce the burden of their care on loved ones should the unthinkable happen.

Advance planning could lessen the impact on a person's finances or the emotional toll this condition takes on family members. Not planning ahead increases the chances of courts making decisions that might not be what the person wants.

One thing that can be done now is the consolidation of assets through closing unnecessary accounts. Individuals can prepare advance medical directives and other documents such as a will, durable power of attorneys for finances and healthcare, perhaps including a do-not-resuscitate order. A living will allows a trusted relative or friend to make life-or-death decisions if the person is incapacitated due to terminal illness or injury.

When it comes to finances, a revocable living trust can help protect a person's assets. This document allows a person to designate trustee to carry out their financial wishes should they become incapacitated.

Planning for something that might never happen can be complicated and emotional for an individual. Numerous documents may be necessary to meet the person's healthcare and financial situation. An estate planning attorney may be able to help people navigate through the necessary documents, making sure they are done properly. Such an attorney might also explain trusts and why a revocable living trust may be a good option for them.

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