A power of attorney is a powerful document indeed. However, if you don't create the document now, it could be too late to do so when you need it most. These documents are designed to serve you when you are no longer able to serve yourself -- in other words, when you become incapacitated.
Being diagnosed with dementia can be scary. Although each case is different and a surprise recovery or halt in progression of the illness is not unheard of, most California residents diagnosed with dementia will face a decline in mental, and eventually physical, faculties. At a certain point they will be incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves.
One of the most common estate planning documents is called a power of attorney. Powers of attorney can be drafted to grant another person the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. They can be made to broadly apply to all areas of your life, or they can be made more specifically -- to only apply to certain areas of your life and only in the event that specific conditions are present. Three of the most common kinds of powers of attorney include medical or health care powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney and in loco parentis.
Setting up a power of attorney is a vital part of any California estate plan. The reason you want to have a power of attorney in place is because you never know when a serious and incapacitating accident or medical event might happen.
When selecting a power of attorney, California residents will have several options available to them. Usually, they will have the choice between a general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney, a health care power of attorney or a durable power of attorney.
Orange County patients are more involved now, perhaps more than any time in the past, in making decisions about the medical care they receive. There are times when a person is unable to exercise that control. Serious injuries caused by an accident and physical or mental limitations late in life may rob a person of the ability to make these choices.
As basic components of their estate plans, all California residents should have two primary types of powers of attorney on file: a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. Even if you do not do anything else with regard to estate planning, completing your powers of attorney could save yourself and your family a great deal of difficulty later on down the road.
Two legal terms that we hear a lot are "power of attorney" and "durable power of attorney," but what is the difference between the two?
Catherine Falk, the daughter of Peter Falk, is advocating for a new law that would grant children the ability to visit their incapacitated or elderly parents. Catherine experienced difficulty visiting her father while he was incapacitated with Alzheimer's disease. Her stepmother was preventing her from seeing him.
Making an estate plan in California requires understanding of both federal and state laws regarding gifts and taxes. It is very important that those who create an estate plan have a full understanding of the implications of any particular decision to save, move or bequeath funds. Estate planning is best handled with the help of a professional who understands the numerous laws at the federal and state level that can impact how estate funds are handled.