Typically, when an individual is blind, deaf or mute, it is referred to as incapacitation or more likely a form of physical disability. This could be a difficult and trying time as such an individual would be unable to make or handle his or her affairs. Thus the need for a guardian. Although, deafness may not be directly labelled as a serious disability or incapacitation in any case, largely because it doesn’t directly affect communication. A guardian would be of help when it is difficult to properly communicate or when another form of hearing is needed.
Planning for incapacities or blind, mute, deaf physical disability.
Blind, deafness and mute are physical disabilities and as such could limit how you handle your financial and medical affairs. However, with a proper estate plan, you can decide whom to manage your asset or make certain decisions for you when you become incapacitated. To note, incapacity can also be established by the court when there is clarity that the individual has been rendered incapable of making intelligent decisions. Blindness alone does not make one incapable of making sensible decisions, does neither deafness nor muteness. All of these can simply be seen as disabilities and language barriers. However, any or a combination of these physical disabilities will make it more difficult for an individual to understand and go into formal contracts but when given substantial assistance, they can do so intelligently. Deafness, blindness, or muteness alone does not affect one’s mental state, so the individual would still be deemed mentally sound, therefore not incapacitated.
Guardianship and conservatorship is vital for deaf, blind and mute
Physical incapacitation could be temporary or permanent, but as in case of blind deaf and mute, you could require a longer treatment and care. While your medical treatment needs to be seriously kept in checked, you need someone to care for other areas of life, such as business, finances, community development goals, families, ensuring you are duly represented in public and civic responsibility and also benefiting from government aids for physically challenged. You can name desired guardian in your estate plan, otherwise, when you experience disability of any kind or you suffer from blind, deaf and mute, a court may supervise the administration of any suitable guardian for you.
Advance medical directives for blind, deaf and mute.
This is a type of living trust to decide who gives authorization for any medical treatment you may want to receive as blind, deaf or mute. Also a revocable living trust could provide a vital document during blind, deaf and mute disabilities. You can easily transfer your assets into the trust and name a successor trustee if required. If these plans are in place, the court would not have to control your asset dspite being blind, deaf or mute.
Other forms of treatment for the blind, dead and mute
Blind, deaf and mute persons can be aided through the following ways:
- For visually impaired persons who can read and/or speak, the details of the contract should be clearly voiced out to them to their hearing so long they can hear and understand. Brailles may also be used. Every word of the document should be spelt out, and the blind individual must be made to write and/or speak out their understanding of the contract for confirmation in the presence of a witness. The client’s hand should be directed to the signature field. This aid applies to mute clients as well.
- For deaf or mute persons, a professional American Sign Language interpreter (ASL) should be employed to interpret all the details of the legal contract to the perfect understanding of the deaf/mute. If the legalities of the contract are not too complex, notes could be written if the person understands written English.
- Instead of a live professional ASL, Video Relay Interpreters are now commonly used. A Video Relay Interpreter is an electronic device that offers sign language interpretation through videos. However, if the client gets inadequate understanding through the device, an ASL should be brought in.
- There are also aids available for those who suffer from a combination of these three disabilities. An individual that is both deaf and mute is provided with visual ASL interpreter. Blind-deaf individuals are provided with Tactile Sign Language experts, while individuals that are both blind and mute are provided with Brailles.
Being physically challenged is not the end of the world, there are various ways to still live and do wonderfully well. Contact an attorney for any legal help.