Incapacity Planning, also referred to as life planning, is planning for the unfortunate circumstance of becoming unable to control your finances or health decisions. This could be brought on by a car accident, illness, or old age. If you don't plan for your incapacity, you run the risk of the courts interfering and acting inconsistently with your intended desires.
The two major realms of incapacity planning are control over finances and control of health decisions. There are legal documents that can be executed to give that control to specific person(s) whom you feel would make the best decisions on your behalf. Making your own choices is always better than surrendering your decisions to a court who has never met you.
The following are the most common tools used in incapacity planning:
Power of Attorney
Health Care Surrogate
Creation of Joint Tenancies for Estate Planning
The Living Trust
Pre-Need Nomination of Guardian