What is Estate Planning?

Preparing for Incapacity

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Planning for incapacity might not be the most pleasant thought, but it’s important to be prepared in case the unexpected occurs.

Prepare For the Unexpected

An accident, injury, or illness that causes incapacity can strike unexpectedly and suddenly. If you become incapable of making sound decisions about your finances and well-being, failing to have a plan in place can mean a court will end up making these decisions on your behalf.

Without a plan, the courts could appoint a guardian who may be a spouse, friend, family member, or a complete stranger to act on your behalf. Guardianships often carry additional administrative expenses. With a plan, however, you can decide who will make decisions on your behalf, and you'll be able to choose someone you know and trust.

So, planning for incapacity ahead of time can save a lot of additional problems from arising. To get started, here's a quick list of documents you'll need:

A Durable Power of Attorney

This lets you select who will be making financial decisions on your behalf.

A Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney

This lets you select who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf. It also allows the selected person to receive information regarding your health in accordance with HIPAA laws.

A Healthcare Directive – also called a “Living Will.”

This lets you document your wishes regarding medical treatment in the event of end-of-life care.

Also, revocable living trusts can be a good tool to use for the continued management of your assets. Learn more about revocable living trusts here.

Have questions?

Need help finding an attorney to get started? Contact BECU Trust Services at 206-812-5176, or becutrust@becu.org.

Helpful Resources

BECU Trust Services is a trade name used by Members® Trust Company under license from BECU. Trust services are provided by Members® Trust Company, a federal thrift regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice regarding your situation. For legal or tax advice, please consult your attorney and/or accountant. Trust products not federally insured, not subject to credit union or affiliate guarantee, and may lose value.