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Mental Incapacity and Estate Planning

Most people believe that “Estate Planning” is all about death and who gets your property after you die. The reality is Estate Planning is so much more. In fact, its most important job isn’t giving away your money, property and other stuff when you die. Rather, the most important part of Estate Planning is that it allows you to protect and provide for yourself later in your life if you ever become incapacitated.

Our Lawyers in Pocatello have over 70 years of experience helping clients plan for themselves. Modern medicines and healthy living allow us to live longer now than any generation before us. While this is wonderful, it also brings an increased chance that a mental incapacity could develop in our elderly years. Our experience helps us understand the variety of problems that longer living can bring. It is our job to help you and your create a written plan to solve the many problems that might arise.

We customize Estate Plans in Pocatello so that our clients are each individually prepared should a mental incapacity happen to them. Our team includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley who have all received the highest possible ratings from Martindale & Hubbell, AVVO and Justia. We are confident that our team has the experience and the ability to help you create an individual plan for yourself in the event you suffer a mental incapacity during your life.

Types of Mental Incapacity

Mental incapacity can manifest in many ways. Some examples include Alzheimer’s disease, have a stroke, suffering from a physical injury, or just dementia resulting from age. Really the type of mental incapacity is not important. What is important is understanding that when a mental incapacity occurs, a variety of problems and needs arise that must be resolved by you and your family. When a complete and well thought out Estate Plan exists, many of the needs and problems are easy to resolve. These include who will handle your finances and pay your bills. Additionally, you will have a plan to take care of your property, businesses, any health care decisions that come up and you other daily life affairs. A well thought out and written Estate Plan can solve all of these problems.

The Problems Occuring From Mential Incapacity

Every normally functioning adult in Idaho is protected by the law. They have the ability to take care of themselves and make all of their own decisions. The problem is, when a mental incapacity occurs, the person may lose the ability to make their own decisions. When this happens, the law in Idaho requires a legal guardian to be named so the person’s basic life decisions can be made by another person legally.

In Idaho the legal process for a guardianship and/or conservatorship, which is usually done at the same time, must occur in Court. The reality is that a court proceeding for the purpose of naming a legal guardian and/or a conservator can be expensive. Additionally, any type of court proceeding for a guardian or a conservator requires that all family members be involved. Most people recognize that family members may not all agree about the person or people who should be appointed as guardian or conservator. Family fights, and sometimes expensive and lengthy litigation about who should be appointed occurs. A well written estate plan can avoid all of this.

How Estate Planning Solves the Problem of Incapacity

A complete and well written Estate Plan gives you the opportunity while you are able, to think about and solve most of the problems that might occur if a mental incapacity happens to you during your life. A Durable Power of Attorney document for finances and property, as well as a Power of Attorney for Health Care document are all part of a basic written estate plan. Additionally, a Living Will which gives a person the ability to make end-of-life decisions is also included in the basic plans we provide to our clients.

The documents listed above give you the ability to name individuals who will take care of your property and finances and who will make health care decisions for you if you suffer a mental incapacity and can no longer do these things for yourself. By having a plan in place, you and your family will likely no longer need to complete any guardianship and conservatorship proceedings in court. Additionally, you have taken a step to keep your family from disagreeing and fighting.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Avoiding the many and varied problems that might arise with a mental incapacity is not difficult. We can help. Our Pocatello Estate Planning Attorneys have the knowledge and experience that you need. We are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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