Georgia residents could find themselves incapacitated at any time. This could happen because of a car accident or because old age has lowered a person’s mental abilities. Whether an individual is temporarily or permanently incapacitated, proper planning ahead of time can make the situation easier to work through. Without a formal plan, decisions related to a person’s finances and medical care could be left to the courts.

Designating a health care proxy means that another person is allowed to make health care decisions on a person’s behalf. A living will can also allow another person to decide whether to proceed with or deny treatment on a person’s behalf. A HIPPA authorization form should also be included to ensure that a doctor has access to necessary medical information.

Individuals can create a revocable trust to hold assets while still alive. If they become incapacitated, a successor trustee could oversee it until the original trustee recovers. The trust could also contain language determining whether or not a person has actually overcome the incapacitated state. Alternatively, a durable power of attorney can be created that allows another person to make financial decisions while a person is incapacitated. In some cases, it can go into effect as soon as it is created.

Trusts may be helpful estate planning tools while a person is still alive and after a person passes on. They can help keep assets out of an estate, which means that they likely avoid probate after an individual dies. These documents may also stipulate what happens to a person’s assets in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. This may allow an individual’s wishes to be met without legal action.

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