Q:

What aspects of my estate plan will include details about incapacity planning?

A:

Well, nearly every aspect of your estate planning will deal with incapacity planning. After all, estate planning begins with making sure that you are cared for properly. You may be alive, but you may not be healthy. Incapacity planning will be addressed in your revocable trust. It’ll be addressed in durable powers of attorney. It will be addressed in health care directives and HIPAA authorizations. The definition of estate planning, at least in my office, is: I want to control my assets while I’m alive and well. If I should be unable to control my assets, I want them to be managed in a way that’s of benefit for me. When I die, I want to give what I have to whom I want, when I want to give it to them, and in the way I want to give it to them.

Note: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law in December 2017 increased the exemption amounts mentioned in these videos. The personal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax lifetime exemption was increased to $11.18 million per person. The annual gift tax exclusion was increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

Both amounts are indexed for inflation and may increase year over year until December 31, 2025, when the law sunsets and reverts to 2017 values.