Many of you reading this page are years, even decades, away from your statistical life expectancy. Though most of you are thinking about what happens to your family and your assets when you pass away, there is a higher probability (on any given day) that you will become incapacitated than that you will pass away. If your estate plan does not provide strong, provable authority to someone you know and trust to manage your assets if you cannot, then that plan is not really protecting you or your family. You are leaving your loved ones open to the likelihood that, if you become incapacitated, they will have to go to probate court just to get authority to use your assets to take care of you. Yes, this is true even if you are married! A spouse does not automatically have the legal authority needed to manage all assets in most cases.
A durable power of attorney, well-drafted, provides some protection in this area and is certainly better than no incapacity planning at all. A revocable living trust, however, provides a stronger, more reliable, and seamless transition of power over your assets to the person you choose in the event of your incapacity. This way you are assured that the right person, with your best interests at heart, has the proper authority over your assets and can use them to take care of you and your family.