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Incapacity Planning Tip Sheet

If you live in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, it’s never too early to begin thinking about incapacity planning. Whether you are a young adult, parents with young children, a person nearing retirement, or someone who has health conditions that could lead to your possible incapacitation, preparing for the possibility that you might no longer be able to communicate or make decisions is an essential step for everyone to take. To help making capacity planning more approachable, we’ve developed this tip sheet you might want to review before you begin the process.

Tip 1. Begin by considering your personal desires.

As long as you are a capable adult, you have the authority to make decisions about the kind of health care you might want to receive if you one day become incapacitated. Making these decisions is often the hardest part of creating an incapacity plan. Whether you have personal, religious, ethical, or spiritual concerns, you have to take the time to consider what you would want to happen to you if you suffered a serious injury or terminal medical condition.

Tip 2. Do your health care homework.

Much of the incapacity planning process will require you to make decisions about specific types of health treatments and options. Understanding what these treatments are, how they work, and how they might affect you is essential if you want to make decisions. You should research any topics you have questions about, as well as speak to your doctor for personalized advice and answers.

Tip 3. Speak to your lawyer.

It’s also important that you make your incapacity plan only after speaking to an experienced attorney in the Greensboro, North Carolina area. Incapacity planning is specific area of the law. You need a lawyer who is experienced in this field. An attorney who regularly deals with incapacity planning questions is the only person capable of giving you qualified legal advice.

Tip 4. Put your wishes in writing.

Regardless of what your individual health care decisions are, it’s essential that you create the appropriate legal documents and state your wishes within them. Every state, including North Carolina, has specific laws that allow people to create legal tools in anticipation of incapacitation. As long as you make your decisions known through these legally recognized documents, your health care providers will have to abide by your wishes.

However, should you make a document that does not comply with North Carolina law, you have no way of knowing if your wishes will be honored.

Tip 5. Follow-up regularly.

Lives change. Decisions change. Having an incapacity plan in place is an excellent way to protect yourself, but you cannot let your plan atrophy. You must regularly review your incapacity planning documents and make changes if your circumstances change.

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