In a 2021 Caring.com survey, they found that about 66% of us do not have an estate plan or even a will. And, this is not that surprising as estate planning can seem macabre, and it is never an easy conversation. But, what some forget is that San Jose, California, estate planning is not just about planning for your eventual death but it is also about planning for a potential incapacitation.
What does incapacity mean?
The term incapacity means that you are unable to make your own decisions. This could be because you are unconscious, like in a comma. Though, it could also mean that you are not mentally fit to make your own decisions anymore. This could occur during a psychotic break, after a traumatic brain injury or with old age (i.e., dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.).
Why plan for an incapacity?
Without an incapacity plan as part of your estate plan, you could awaken from a coma without your home, or your spouse may not even be able to pay the utility bills or the mortgage. For cryptocurrency and NFT investors, your crypto-wallets could be lost forever. It may come as a surprise, but many accounts will not give access to anyone other than the account owner, even utility bills. And, some crypto-wallets have no way of accessing them without your San Jose, California, credentials.
In addition, your spouse or a family member would be forced to guess your preferred medical options. How long do you want to be kept on life support? If you are forced into hospice, do you want to go? How do you want your remains handled? How will your funeral be paid? These are all important questions that may need to be answered, should you become incapacitated.
Make an account list
As part of your San Jose, California, estate and incapacity plan, you should include a list of all of your online accounts and wallets. In addition, you should include how to access those accounts, including third-party verification applications, phones that are needed, USBs, crypto-wallet (software and hardware), usernames and passwords.
For accounts that can be accessed with a username and password, make sure your incapacity plan includes that information and what will need to be done if you are incapacitated. This is important for access both after death and in the event of incapacitation.
Power of attorney
Then, through one or a couple of powers of attorney, designate who is empowered to carry out your wishes. Do not forget to include the person empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf, along with your wishes.