The Two Different Documents to Govern Incapacity

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One of the important things a comprehensive estate plan does is to plan for incapacity. Incapacity is when a person is medically determined to be unable to make decisions for themselves. An estate plan handles this by having you designate a person or persons who will handle your affairs for you in such a scenario. Clients frequently assume that this is done through one document. It is not. California law requires that this designation is done through two documents. The first is called a Durable Power of Attorney. This document enables you to name a person who will handle your legal and financial matters if your physician determines that you do “not have sufficient understanding or ability to make or communicate decisions.” The second document that comes into play during incapacity is called an Advance Health Care Directive. This document designates the person who will make health care decisions for ...

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