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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Five Reasons to Plan for Incapacity Today

Have you thought about what would happen if you were in an accident tomorrow that caused you to be in a coma? Do you wonder who will take care of you if you become ill and can no longer take care of yourself? Planning for incapacitation is an important element of California crisis management planning. Consulting with an experienced California attorney who assists clients with crisis management planning can help ensure your wishes are carried out even if you are unable to communicate your desires because of incapacitation.

Reasons Why You Need to Plan for Incapacity Now

1. Retain Control Over Who Manages Your Health Care

If you are unable to make decisions about your health care or personal care, the court can appoint a guardian to make those decisions for you. In the absence of documents appointing someone to act on your behalf, anyone could petition the court for authority to make these decisions for you. You could have someone you do not want taking care of you, deciding where you can live, making decisions for you regarding your health, and deciding what you can and cannot do each day. However, you can appoint someone to make these decisions for you by executing a Health Care Power of Attorney or a Health Care Directive now.

2. Retain Control Over Who Manages Your Finances and Property

If you are unable to make financial decisions, the court may also appoint someone to do this for you. A conservator can make decisions about how to invest your money and what expenses need to be paid. In some cases, a conservator may sell your property with court approval. However, if you prepare a Durable Power of Attorney, you can choose who will handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated for any reason.

3. Retain Control of Life-Sustaining Care

As with your medical care, if you are in a coma or otherwise incapacitated, you need someone to make decisions regarding life-sustaining medical treatment. A Living Will and other estate-planning documents can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have someone who knows you and knows your wishes to make these decisions for you. In a Living Will, you can direct your agent to withdraw or refuse life-sustaining medical care such as feeding tubes and ventilators.

4. Protecting Your Property

In some cases, you may want to title property and other assets with a joint owner who can make decisions about the assets if you are incapacitated. However, joint title may not resolve all the issues that can arise if you become incapacitated. Therefore, before transferring title to any property, it is best to talk to an attorney who understands California crisis management issues and how to plan for a  crisis.

5. Business Succession Planning

In addition to planning for your personal care, medical treatment, and financial management, you need to have a Business Succession Plan if you become incapacitated. You need to have a detailed plan stating who should take over the leadership role in the business if the business continues. In the event you want to close the business if you are unable to operate the business, your plan should include details about closing, liquidating, and distributing assets.

California Crisis Management Planning

A California attorney can assist you in estate planning and planning for incapacity. It is important to take steps now to protect yourself, your property, and your family in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself because of an illness or accident. Call crisis management lawyers today for more information or to set up an appointment.


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