Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Mike Ditka, Head Coach of the Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears, recently suffered from a stroke in November of 2012. While Ditka is thankfully expected to recovery from this ordeal, we can still take a lessons from his illness.
The most obvious lesson that this incident reminds us about is that estate planning is not only used to determine what happens to our property after we die. Many people are under the delusion that the only document that they need is a will. However, that is not case. It is important to remember that a person should also plan for incapacity. A will alone does not provide for incapacity. In the absence of instruction, a probate court will likely "appoint a conservator or guardian to make financial and health decisions for" him or her. Now, a person can avoid the extra costs and paperwork with the courts by creating a durable power of attorney, which allows them to appoint someone to step-in and make decisions when that person is no longer able to. This type of incapacity could occur when a person has a stroke like Mike Ditka had. Thus, it is important to get ones affairs in order here so that there can be someone to take care that person's affairs should they become incapacitated.
See Evan Guthrie Law Firm, Estate Planning: Lessons Learned From Mike Ditka, JD Supra, Nov. 20, 2012.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.