Atlanta Incapacity Planning Lawyer

 

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Perigon Legal Services: Your Trusted Atlanta Incapacity Planning Attorney in Georgia

Planning for incapacity in Atlanta? Choose Perigon Legal Services as your Atlanta incapacity planning lawyer. Book an appointment with us for more information.

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Perigon Legal Services, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on April 02, 2024.

A medical emergency can happen at any time, regardless of a person’s age and status in life. You may suffer from a heart attack or a severe illness or get in a car accident all of a sudden. These life-changing accidents can lead to injuries and conditions that might prevent you from communicating your wishes if you’re rushed to a hospital. If there’s no incapacity plan in place, you or your loved ones will find yourselves in a complex situation.

The thought of planning for the time you won’t be able to decide for yourself is scary; however, it is necessary. Incapacity planning allows you to clearly specify your preferences and plan for managing your medical care and finances.

An estate planning lawyer from Perigon Legal Services can provide comprehensive incapacity planning services in Georgia. Depending on your needs, this can include several strategies, such as financial powers of attorney, advance healthcare directives, and living wills.

How Does Incapacity Planning Work?

An incapacity plan contains instructions for medical care, financial affairs, and authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. The tools frequently used make sure you have articulated your preferences in case of unexpected incapacity.

What Is Considered as Incapacity Under the Law?

The term “incapacity” is defined in GA Code Section 10-6B-2. Incapacity refers to a person’s inability to manage property or business affairs because of any of the following:

  • Their ability to receive and process information, make or communicate decisions is impaired despite using technological assistance or
  • They are missing, detained, or outside the country and unable to return.

Tools Frequently Used for Incapacity Planning

The legal tools below can be utilized to plan for temporary or permanent incapacity. If used correctly, they provide an ironclad method to prioritize your wishes.

You’ll also be able to assign trusted individuals, such as family members or closest friends, to make financial decisions or healthcare decisions on your behalf. On the other hand, if you have none of these when you become incapacitated, Georgia state law will take over.

Guardianship

Guardianship refers to the proceeding where the court names a person or entity to manage an incapacitated person’s affairs. This may include the responsibility to care for the incapacitated person.

Conservatorship

Conservatorship is a proceeding where the court names a person or entity to manage an incapacitated person’s financial powers.

Advance Health Care Directives

Advance health care directives allow you to designate a trusted person to decide on medical treatment options for you.

You can also assign your healthcare agent to make decisions about all healthcare-related matters or only specific ones. You may also provide them with instructions that they need to follow. They will see to it that healthcare professionals follow your wishes. They’re also required to consider these as your condition changes.

HIPAA Authorization Form

Some healthcare professionals deny medical information even to the spouse or adult children authorized by the healthcare power of attorney. They refuse to do so since the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) doesn’t grant them authorization.

You must sign the HIPAA authorization form to allow the release of medical information to your family, health care providers, or other individuals.

Living Will

The living will is a legal document that instructs health care professionals to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining procedures in case of a coma, terminal condition, or persistent vegetative state. It aims to protect your dignity and prevent unnecessary suffering at the end of life. Anyone who’s of sound mind can execute a living will.

Revocable Living Trust

A living trust is a legal framework for keeping assets and properties. Every trust has a trustee who oversees and distributes the assets in the trust.

It becomes effective even if you’re still alive. It also continues after you pass away unless you add a provision to terminate the trust on a specified date. Living trusts can be classified as either revocable or irrevocable.

A crucial reason why you need a revocable living trust is because it’s more flexible. The trust creator or grantor can revise the trust without getting consent from the beneficiaries.

The grantor retains ownership of the assets in the trust and pays the taxes involved. This includes estate taxes, inheritance taxes, or income taxes. You will have the same Social Security Number as your trust. As a result, any income generated from the assets in the trust will be part of your income return.

Durable Power of Attorney

This is a legal document that empowers a person to execute your financial affairs if you become incapacitated or develop a disability. It could either be a present or future durable power of attorney.

  • Present durable power of attorney: This power is immediately given to your attorney-in-fact.
  • Future durable power of attorney: This only becomes effective upon your incapacitation as judged by your medical providers.

How Can an Estate Planning Attorney Help?

You will be at a disadvantage if you fail to transfer healthcare power over your medical decisions or medical information before becoming incapacitated. An estate planning lawyer can help you create enforceable advance directives to ensure other healthcare providers follow agent instructions. If such decisions aren’t documented, the agent’s decisions must be followed.

Having an estate planning attorney arrange the essential documents could lead to you or your family’s secure and happy future.

Let Perigon Legal Services Help With Your Georgia Estate Planning Needs.

 

In estate planning, you should prepare for both the expected and unexpected. Everyone assumes they will decide how and who will handle their estate at the time of their death. However, it’s also critical to plan how your estate will be managed when you’re still alive but can’t make decisions for yourself. You don’t want those around you to know what’s on your mind.

Don’t waste a single second. The best time to plan for when you become incapacitated is when you can still do so. Incapacity planning involves several legal documents, each with its own special purpose.

If you need help figuring out where to start, an estate planning lawyer in Georgia can help. Contact us at Perigon Legal Services today.

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