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Mental Incapacity

Incapacity, or the Loss of Ability to Care for Yourself

Estate Planning isn’t just about giving away your money, property and other stuff. It is also preparing for your own future and providing you with the protections you might need later in life. Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Idaho understand that as a society, we are living longer than ever before. However, with a longer life comes the increased chance that we could have some sort of mental or physical incapacity in our elderly years and will need help. Our Attorneys understand the problems that can arise for you individually and can help you and your family plan for and avoid the expensive and sometimes destructive problems that arise when a mental or physical incapacity.

We have decades of experience in helping clients customize their Idaho Estate Plan so that they are prepared in the event a mental or physical incapacity occurs. Our Estate Planning Attorneys in Idaho includes a team of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley who have received the highest ratings from Martindale and Hubbell, AVVO and Justia for their ethics and legal ability as attorneys. We have the experience and the ability to help you prepare and provide for yourself in the event you suffer a mental or physical incapacity.

Types of Incapacity

Alzheimer’s, strokes, injuries, dementia and other elderly health and/or mental health conditions are just a few of the types of mental and physical incapacities that are at an all-time high. Regardless of whether a person suffers mental or physical problems during their lives, each of these creates unique needs and problems that must be dealt with by a family. However, with a proper and complete written Estate Plan in place you can address these unique needs and can avoid nearly all of the problems that can arise, including the handling of your financial, business, health care, and others daily life affairs, if you ever become mentally or physically incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions or to properly care for yourself.

The Problem With Incapacity for Your Family

When you are healthy and everything is fine, the law protects you and allows you to take care of all of your own daily life affairs without anyone else interfering, including your family or the government. Under these circumstances, you have the ability to decide for yourself how you deal with your money, property, businesses, healthcare, and other areas of your life. However, if you develop a mental or physical incapacity and are suddenly unable to take care of these things for yourself, there is a problem. In the instance described above if you do not have complete and valid Estate Plan in place the government does step in. When you cannot care for yourself or your money or property, a legal guardian will have to be named for you, so that your daily life affairs and basic life decisions can legally be made by another person.

A guardianship and/or conservatorship, which is usually done at the same time, is a legal proceeding in Court where a person is appointed and named as a guardian for the specific purpose of taking care of you. A conservator is also named. This person is tasked with the responsibility of caring for your money, property, businesses etc. The same person could be named as both the guardian and the conservator. However, with an estate that is complex it is possible that there could be more than one person who are appointed to complete these responsibilities.

The problem is that a court proceeding to name a guardian and conservator is often expensive and time-consuming. More importantly, these types of court proceedings creates a situation where family members may not agree on who should be appointed to these positions. This can lead to family fights and lengthy, expensive litigation about who should be appointed. Even if the family does not fight, these types of court proceedings usually involve more than one attorney, doctors, and perhaps others who may be called as witnesses. All of this can be avoided through completing a well thought-out and written Estate Plan.

How You can Solve the Problem of Incapacity

Our Attorneys in Idaho can help you solve the problems that could arise if you suffer a mental or physical incapacity during your life by helping you complete a written Estate Plan. A basic written plan includes not only a Last Will and Testament which is the document used to give away your property after you die, but it also includes a Durable Power of Attorney document for finances and property, as well as a Power of Attorney for Health Care document. Finally, a well written plan will also include a Living Will which gives a person the ability to make end-of-life decisions.

The powers of attorney listed above are critical because they give you the ability while they have capacity, to determine who you want to name to care for you and your property if you were to suddenly become unable to do it yourself because of a mental or physical incapacity. This allows you and your family to avoid having to do any guardianship and conservatorship proceedings in court. More importantly, having proper durable Powers of Attorney helps keep the peace in your family. When you complete these documents in writing, they eliminate any arguments or family fights about who should be named because you have made these choices already yourself. Additionally, having a thorough and complete written plan provides benefits beyond caring for yourself while you are alive, such as with the Living Will. Finally, it is far less expensive to complete these documents than it is to do any types of legal proceeding later.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Avoiding the problems that can come with a mental or physical incapacity is not difficult when you have the right help. The Idaho Estate Planning Attorneys at the Racine Law Office are here to help you and your family when you need it the most. We are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at racine@racinelaw.net. We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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