Ways to Prepare for Disability

By the year 2050, experts estimate that 277 million older Americans will be dependent on another person. This dependence will largely be due to increasing instances of dementia in varying forms. A recent article discusses several things a person can do to protect him or herself from the possibility that he or she will suffer from dementia.

First, be sure to complete a financial durable power of attorney. This type of power of attorney can be created with a springing provision that provides that the power of attorney will not take control until after you become incapacitated. However, we typically like to see a durable power of attorney that is effective immediately and continues through any incapacity. There is less chance that this kind of power of attorney (the durable kind) will be rejected.

Another set of necessary documents is the advance health care directive and living will. An advance health care directive allows an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal and a living will provides instructions for whether hospital staff should engage in life saving maneuvers.

Although these documents are essential, they are only the start in assisting family members to provide you with the medical and financial care that you would like to receive. It is also important that you create a list of account information and passwords so that your family can easily access and manage your finances if you become incapacitated.