The thought of incapacity is unpleasant, thus many people fail to plan for the consequences of incapacitation. Incapacity can be the result of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but it can also happen suddenly due to a stroke or an accident. The issues that surround incapacity are not limited to medical decisions; there is a financial component as well.
If you are unable to manage your assets and do not have documents addressing incapacity, your family may have to seek a conservatorship from the probate court. A conservatorship is a probate proceeding that appoints someone (a conservator) to control an incapacitated person’s property if they have no power of attorney. The court will order a conservatorship under two general circumstances: 1) if a person is unable to manage his estate and affairs effectively for reasons related to physical or mental incapacity; or 2) the person has property that will be wasted or an estate that will be dissipated unless proper management is put in place.
If the incapacitated person doesn’t have planning documents in place, and a dispute arises within the family, the court might appoint a non-family member to manage the incapacitated person’s assets. Creating a power of attorney and putting a living trust in place can address these issues and avoid court involvement. To discuss these or other estate planning issues, contact one of the attorneys at Morris Hall for a free consultation.
Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Phoenix and Prescott Estate Planning Attorney, Andrea L. Claus.
About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.