Disabilities may occur at any time in the life of an individual. Because of this, it is important to plan properly and adjust the estate plan when an unforeseen disability disrupts the life of the owner of an estate.
Disabilities happen with greater frequency as someone ages. This could mean that an individual that has already created an estate plan may need to adjust the planning when one of these issues arises. If the disability affects the senses, it may be possible to obtain assistance and keep the estate plan as is. However, if the issue affects motor skills, cognitive thinking or causes the owner to become frail or bedridden, there may need to be more major adjustments made to the scheme. If the owner did not previously add healthcare or long-term care into the strategy, it should be added once the disability has started.
Long-term care is often needed once the owner of an estate becomes much older. However, anytime after 50, this could be necessary. It is important to ensure that the estate plan created includes healthcare issues, infirmities, and possible disability. The genetic report on the owner should detail if any disabilities are likely, but they could arise through accidents, incidents, natural aging or emergencies. If the health issue leads to a wheelchair, becoming stuck in a bed for long periods or similar circumstances, the estate plan may need to be altered drastically. The owner should be open to what is needed and how to alter this with his or her current situation.
Disabilities and the Estate Plan
For estate owners that are not affected personally by a disability, they may have family or heirs that have been victim to circumstances that lead to or caused a disability. If the estate planner is aware of the medical costs, he or she may ensure the right amount of insurance is purchased, that a home nurse may be hired or other possible processes are initiated. If the heir has perceptional deficiencies, this could mean that only one aspect of his or her life is changed by the condition. An example would be someone having gone deaf. He or she may not be as in need of extraordinary assistance as someone that has become wheelchair bound.
By proper planning, the estate owner may be able to pass on assets, income, real estate and even a business to an heir with a disability. This could ensure that the estate is managed properly, but there may need to be an agent or additional person to assist with these business matters. This may mean hiring someone in an advisory capacity or to ensure certain matters are taken care of when the heir needs medical attention. In some instances, the disability may only be a temporary issue, and the estate owner may plan accordingly. This may lead to a mutually beneficial situation for both the owner and heir.
Planning for the Future through Disability
No matter who is affected by the disability, the estate owner should be aware of what is needed to see past these issues and plan for the future. Doctor and healthcare assessments may assist in understanding the disability and how to combat the issues that arise due to the condition. This could lead to the correct and proper treatment that permits the estate owner or heir to carry out the wishes of the estate plan. With long-term and short-term disability care managed, other matters concerning the assets and real estate need to be settled. This could mean splitting the assets up or designating certain beneficiaries for various holdings.
Through the use of a lawyer, agent, and executor, it is possible to ensure the estate plan is developed appropriately and put into action. With knowledge about the involved legal tools, the necessary plans for heirs and beneficiaries and other concerns, the estate planner may not be negatively impacted greatly by the disability. It is important to ensure all documentation has been filled and filed accordingly as well as any other persons considered. If there is the potential for a challenge to the estate plan, the owner may need to make other plans to reduce these complications as much as possible.
Legal Help with Disability in Estate Planning
If the lawyer is part of the estate planning, he or she may have already been hired. However, even if he or she is not already included, legal help may ensure the disability is accounted for within the estate planning.