Estate Planning Includes Planning for Incapacity

Estate Planning Includes Planning for Incapacity

We’re all uneasy as we face the biggest health challenge of our lifetimes. Despite stringent safety precautions, this remains a highly contagious disease, and we’re all feeling vulnerable. Many people are feeling the urgency to create estate planning documents.

But estate planning isn’t only about what happens after a loved one’s death

Estate planning includes making plans for incapacity—when loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves.

For my own folks, incapacity necessitated an intervention after my stepfather suffered a minor stroke while driving. He veered off the road and plowed into a police car. The good news is that we finally were able to take his keys away and get him off the road.

My brother stepped in as his Power of Attorney

As the Financial Power of Attorney for my folks, my brother was able to manage their finances. I think my stepfather was happy to be relieved of this burden, and my mother was no longer able to deal with anything substantive. Fortunately, they both still had testamentary capacity and were able to sign the necessary legal documents. My brother also became the Agent for their Advance Healthcare Directives. He now had authority to carry out their final healthcare decisions.

Mental Incapacity can be caused by an accident, injury or illness

Mental incapacity results in someone’s being incapable of making informed decisions about their finances and wellbeing.

  • Without a comprehensive incapacity plan in place, a judge can appoint someone to take control of an incapacitated person’s assets and make all personal and medical decisions on that person’s behalf under a court-supervised guardianship or conservatorship.
  • The incapacitated person and his or her loved ones can lose valuable time, money, and control until the incapacitated person either regains capacity or dies.

Holding assets in joint accounts with another family member is a poor solution

Many believe they’re protected if they hold their assets in joint names with another family member. While a joint account holder may be able to pay bills, for instance, a joint owner of real estate will not be able to sell property without the consent of the other owner.

If that owner is legally incapacitated, the owner will not have clear title to the property and will not be able to sell it. Only a comprehensive incapacity plan will protect you and your assets from a court-supervised guardianship or conservatorship.

During this health crisis, many are feeling an urgency to create a Living Trust

Our Trust package includes a Will, Power of Attorney and an Advance Healthcare Directive. We guide you through the process and prepare the legal documents. At California Document Preparers, for most of our services, we charge one flat fee. We’re helpful, compassionate and affordable. Schedule an appointment today at one of our three Bay Area offices in Dublin, Walnut Creek or Oakland.

We service the entire East Bay and North Bay areas

Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.

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During this extraordinary time of COVID-19 closures, California Document Preparers is still open for business. We are continuing to operate in light of the Shelter-in-Place order, especially over the phone, via video chat, or through the website.

 

You may call our Oakland or Walnut Creek offices at their regular numbers and someone will answer:
Oakland:  (510) 452-2320
Walnut Creek:  (925) 407-1010

You can also call our Dublin office at (925) 479-9600 and you will receive a return call as soon as possible.

 

Our top priority is safety.  We also acknowledge that many of you have expressed an urgent desire to prepare your estate documents in light of the current public health crisis.  We are there for you and ready to assist.

 

The times have changed, but our dedication to service has not.  We appreciate your continued support and wish you and your family stay well under these difficult circumstances.

 

California Document Preparers

Helpful. Compassionate. Affordable.