Elder care attorneys assist clients who are preparing for the eventualities of aging. Possible future incapacity would be one of these eventualities. Guardianship or conservatorship proceedings could enter the picture if appropriate preparations have not been made prior to incapacity.
Incapacity Planning in San Jose CA
The terms guardianship and conservatorship are used differently in different states. In general, a guardian or conservator handles the affairs of a ward who cannot handle his or her own affairs. In many jurisdictions, a guardian would be responsible for personal decision-making, and a conservator would be responsible for the ward’s financial affairs.
In the state of California, the term guardian is used for someone who is responsible for a minor child. A conservator would be someone who is responsible for an adult ward. In California, a conservator could handle all types of decision making for an adult ward.
If interested parties came to the conclusion that a loved one was unable to handle his or her own affairs, the state could be petitioned to appoint a conservator to act on behalf of the incapacitated individual.
The matter can be kept out of the hands of the court by executing the appropriate incapacity planning documents in advance.
Durable Powers of Attorney
You can take control of the situation on your own by executing durable powers of attorney. Because these powers are durable, they will remain in effect in the event of your incapacitation.
Most people are aware of what a power of attorney can accomplish. With a power of attorney you are empowering someone else to act on your behalf.
There are different types of decisions that could become necessary. Some are medical, and some are financial. You could create two different powers of attorney delineating different types of responsibilities. You could in turn name different attorneys in fact to serve in each respective role.
Does anyone especially want to think about the possibility of becoming incapacitated? Obviously, this is not a pleasant subject to contemplate. Because of this it would be easy to adopt the perspective that incapacity is certainly possible, but not especially likely.
In fact, around 45 percent of people who are at least 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This in itself is a somewhat alarming statistic. Of course, Alzheimer’s disease is not the only cause of incapacity among our nation’s elders.
When you understand the facts, you can see why incapacity planning in San Jose CA is important. It is something that you should take to heart and prepare for intelligently and pragmatically.
If you are always capable of making your own decisions, that’s great. On the other hand, if you do become incapacitated late in your life, representatives of your choosing will be in place to act on your behalf.