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Incapacity Planning

Incapacity Planning

If you become incapacitated, you won’t be able to manage your own financial affairs. Many are under the mistaken impression that their spouse or adult children can automatically take over for them in case they become incapacitated.  The truth is that in order for others to be able to manage your finances, they must petition a court to declare you legally incompetent. This process can be lengthy, costly, and stressful. 

If you want your family to be able to immediately take over for you, you must designate a person or persons that you trust in Durable Powers of Attorney so that they will have the authority to withdraw money from your accounts, pay bills, take distributions from your IRAs, sell stocks, and refinance your home. 

In addition to planning for the financial aspect of your affairs during incapacity, you should establish a plan for your medical care. The law allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf about medical treatment options if you lose the ability to decide for yourself.  You can do this by using an Advance Healthcare Directive. This document can also be used to inform others of your preferred medical treatments such as the use of extraordinary measures should you become permanently unconscious or terminally ill.

Planning for incapacity allows you to ensure that your wishes are followed even when you can no longer voice them. It also prevents family conflict and potential legal disputes over what should happen in the event you are incapacitated.


Pacific Elder Law assists clients with all Elder Law matters including Long-term Care Planning, Medi-Cal Planning, Conservatorships, Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts, Special Needs Planning and Elder Mediation. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and serve clients in Alameda County, San Francisco County, and Contra Costa County, including Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Emeryville, Piedmont, Hayward, San Francisco, El Cerrito, Richmond, Martinez, Hercules, Lafayette, Orinda and Walnut Creek.



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| Phone: 510-852-9392
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| Phone: 415-552-0113

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