Plan While You Can
Plan While You Can
Legal Solutions for Facing Disability
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Have you ever asked, “Who will make financial or health care decisions for me if I am incapacitated?” . . . “How can I avoid becoming a burden on my family?” . . . “Will I be ignored in a nursing home?” . . . “How will my disabled child fare after I’m gone?”

If so, you need more than a do-it-yourself book giving you forms designed to fit “most” people.  You need good professional advice tailored to addressing your concerns.  This book empowers you to develop your individualized plan for facing possible disability with confidence.

Plan While You Can gives you the tools to:

  • Create the living will you want
  • Understand what “probate” means
  • See how trusts work
  • Name an advocate who can protect you or your disabled child
  • Avoid losing government benefits
  • Organize your important papers
  • Empower someone to act for you if necessary
  • Choose the right advisors
  • Evaluate long term care insurance
  • Design a plan that meets your needs

Durable Power of Attorney

You'll recall from Chapter 2 that a power of attorney authorizes one person (the agent) to act on behalf of another (the principal) while the principal is alive.  By executing a durable power while you are competent, you can name someone to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. Durable powers are popular because they can serve as relatively inexpensive "insurance" against incapacity. 

Why You Need a Durable Power of Attorney

You may be asking, "Do I really need a durable power of attorney?"  Try asking yourself some more questions.

Do you get checks made out to you?  If you became incapacitated, no one could cash them without creating a guardianship.

Do you own assets ... including property owned with someone else ... that would require your signature to sell?  If you became incapacitated, no one could sell them without creating a guardianship.

Roger W. Andersen is a Professor of Law at the University of Toledo.  He is the author of two books used in law schools, in addition to numerous articles for professional and lay audiences.  Professor Andersen has taught Trusts and Estates for 25 years and also offered courses in Elder Law and Disability Law.  He has law degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois.  Prior to entering teaching, he did estate planning in a trust department and in private law practice.  His interest in Elder Law and disability issues stems from his personal experience helping relatives and friends plan to face the challenges of aging or disability.


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