When you are younger and thriving in your career and/or family, it can be difficult to imagine a time when you can no longer earn a living or even manage your own basic affairs. However, it is important to recognize that events can happen at any time – and any age – that impact your ability to live as you normally would. One day, you might be a respected professional climbing the ladder, and the next, you might be in a coma in the hospital. We never know when serious illnesses or injuries might happen, and the following are only some reasons why you should plan for future incapacity right away.
Some medical conditions happen to people much younger than you might imagine. For example, younger and younger adults are experiencing strokes, which can affect your abilities long-term. In addition, younger adults might be diagnosed with conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While you might associate ALS and similar conditions with older individuals, many people are being diagnosed in their 30s, 40s, or even their 20s.
Certain mental illnesses can also result in temporary or lasting incapacitation. Such conditions might include schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. You might need assistance permanently or until you are able to control your condition with the proper medication.
Accidents can happen at any time, and they do not discriminate based on the age of an accident victim. You might fall or get into a traffic accident that causes you to be in a coma for weeks or months. During this time, you need someone to make medical and personal decisions for you and handle your financial affairs. Other injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, can result in permanent cognitive impairment that might prevent you from managing your own finances moving forward. Violence can also result in debilitating injuries, such as gunshot wounds that damage the brain or other injuries that render you unconscious and in need of hospitalization and rehabilitation before you are able to return to your normal life.
Never assume that because you are a young adult, you have no need for incapacity planning. The last thing you want is to suffer a sudden and incapacitating injury or medical condition without proper documents in place, such as a power of attorney or healthcare surrogate. In these situations, your family might have to endure a guardianship case in court and possible conflict. Your finances might suffer while family members determine who should be in charge. It is always easier for you to make these decisions and official designations ahead of time.
The Legacy Law Firm helps clients of all ages create estate plans that include incapacity planning. If you need assistance planning for incapacitation or other estate planning matters, call (954) 999-9683 or contact us online. We can advise you of your best options for your individual situation.
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