Palm Springs Incapacity Planning Attorney

Incapacity planning is one of the most important parts of estate planning. Planning for what will happen to you and your property if you become sick, badly hurt, or lose your ability to make your own decisions will significantly help you and your family. Incapacity planning is important for people of all ages because there is never a guarantee that you won't experience an injury or illness that could render you incapacitated.

Attorney Christopher Heritage of Heritage Legal, PC, has helped many Palm Springs-area clients engage in incapacity planning as part of their overall estate plan. He carefully listens to his clients to understand their goals while explaining their legal options in an easy-to-understand manner. He uses the appropriate legal tools to ensure their wishes will be respected should they become incapacitated. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation.

The Benefits of Incapacity Planning

Incapacity can happen to anyone. In some cases, people are temporarily incapacitated but later recover. In other cases, people suffer an injury or illness that will permanently prevent them from making decisions for themselves. Incapacity planning prepares individuals for these types of challenging situations. There are multiple benefits that come from incapacity planning. Incapacity planning will allow you to choose what type of care and services you will receive should you become incapacitated. Incapacity planning will also help your loved ones by letting them know your preferences when you are no longer able to communicate with them.

Determining What Type of Medical Care You’d Like to Receive

When you meet with an estate planning lawyer to discuss incapacity planning, your conversation will focus on your preferences should you become incapacitated. First, your lawyer will discuss what type of medical care you want if you experience a serious medical emergency. These conversations can be difficult because none of us enjoys thinking about becoming injured or incapacitated. However, it is important to make your wishes known regarding extraordinary measures.

Would you like to be kept alive through a feeding tube or provided hydration through artificial means? Do you want medical professionals to resuscitate you via extraordinary measures after you suffer a severe medical emergency? These are only a few of the questions you’ll need to consider and answer as part of your incapacity planning. Discussing these types of decisions can be emotionally draining, and attorney Christopher Heritage uses his empathy and legal skill to guide his clients through these discussions.

We also recommend creating a durable power of attorney for health care, also known as a healthcare proxy. In this legal document, you will designate a person you trust to make medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so. As part of your health care proxy, you can also make your wishes known as to which procedures and treatments you’d like to receive in medical emergencies.

Determining Who Will Make Decisions On Your Behalf

Should you become incapacitated, someone else will need to make your medical decisions for you on your behalf. When a person who hasn't engaged in any capacity planning becomes incapacitated, doctors often scramble to determine who can make decisions for their patient.

Should you become incapacitated, the last thing you want is your doctor spending precious time trying to determine who can make decisions for you. Instead, you can make the decision now as to who you'd like to make decisions on your behalf. Under California law, you can name a healthcare proxy who will make medical decisions for you according to your wishes should you become incapacitated.

You can also appoint a power of attorney who will act as an agent for you in your financial affairs. If you don't take the time to make these decisions now, your loved ones will be required to go to court and ask the judge to appoint someone to make decisions for you. This process places additional stress on family members in an already stressful situation.

Long-Term Care Planning

Another important part of incapacity planning involves paying for long-term care. A majority of Americans will need to live in an assisted living facility at some point in their retirement. Unfortunately, even those Californians who carefully save for retirement may not be able to afford to live in a nursing home. Nursing home costs have risen dramatically in recent years, and monthly nursing home costs range from $8,000 to $10,000 a month in California. Attorney Christopher Heritage can help you create a plan to pay for nursing home costs while protecting your retirement savings and assets.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is an important legal document that allows you to appoint an agent to make decisions on your behalf and carry out your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. Without a properly drafted power of attorney, your loved one may need to petition the court to appoint a conservator or guardian. Doing so is expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining, especially in an already difficult medical situation.

You can create a present durable power of attorney that immediately transfers power to your appointed attorney-in-fact. Or you can create a springing power of attorney that only becomes effective when your doctor determines that you are incapacitated. Appointing a durable power of attorney ensures that someone you trust will be able to make financial decisions on your behalf.

Contact a Palm Springs Incapacity Planning Lawyer Today

Incapacity can happen without any warning at any time and have lasting and profound consequences for you and your family. The best way to prepare for incapacity is to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer. Contact attorney Christopher Heritage of Heritage Legal, PC, today to schedule your initial consultation.

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