As soon as a person turns 18 years old, they have the legal ability to name who they want to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf if they are deemed incapacitated.
I don’t need to cite automobile crash statistics in order to hammer home the point that unforeseen incapacity actually happens.
Incapacity planning is like an insurance policy: you don’t want to deal with the planning, but once you’ve done the planning, you have the peace of mind that you’re prepared if crisis hits.
No one wants to be dealing with expensive and complicated court proceedings and red tape when a loved one is in an acute, critical condition. So, if you need incentive to do incapacity planning, think about your family.
Getting back to the conversation I had the other day. The topic of emergency information in cell phones came up. In the age of technology that we live in, there are some very useful apps that allow you to communicate to first responders and medical professionals the people that you want notified if something happens to you and vital health information about you.
Since most of us almost always have our cell phones on us, it makes sense to take full advantage of one of these apps.
My Favorite Options
I personally use an iPhone. The app I use is called Health and it comes preloaded on iPhones. In the Medical ID portion of this app, you can list emergency contacts, your allergies, medical conditions, medical notes, medications, blood type, your weight and height, and even whether you’re an organ donor.
You also have the choice to allow this information to be reached from the lock screen of your phone. You should absolutely choose this option. This way medical professionals can access your information in the event of an emergency.
There are also other tools in this app that allow you to track various aspects of physical and mental health, but that all gets off topic.
Android phones have app options too for emergency information. A few of the more popular ones seem to be ICE (In Case of Emergency), Medical ID (Free) ICE Contacts, and ICE Standard ER 911.
All of these apps (which are also available for iPhones) allow your emergency information to be accessed from your phone’s lock screen.
There are tons of emergency information apps available for iPhones and Androids, most of which are free or have a nominal cost. I suggest doing a little research, find an emergency contact app that looks good to you, and set it up. It only takes a few minutes, so no excuses.
Once you have your preferred emergency information app up and running on your phone, call an experienced attorney and get your full incapacity planning done. There’s no time like the present!
Julia C. McKillop
Julia drafts estate plans, wills, trust agreements, and end-of-life advance directives for individuals and families across Florida. She helps people of all ages and every situation by designing personalized estate plans so that if crisis hits, her clients' wishes and needs are met.
Julia is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and is a senior partner at McKillop Law Firm. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Julia lived in Chile teaching English as a second language. Upon returning to the States, she worked in Miami as a paralegal, ultimately deciding to go to law school in order to put her life experiences to work as an advocate and counselor. Julia, Dan and their two young sons recently relocated to Jacksonville to join our Jacksonville team.