El Segundo, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: Need power of attorney for finances for gentleman in nursing care.

He had a heart attack and is no longer able to take care of himself.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Julie King
Julie King
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The only requirement is that he has his mental capacity, which means he fully understands that he would be giving up the power to make his own decisions about his finances and, presumably, his healthcare as well. He needs to understand what he is signing. Physical abilities do not matter. It's all about mental capacity. In other words, he must be able to select a person or people to take care of his finances and health care decisions, and understand that he is giving up the power to make those decisions himself. If he doesn't understand that (according to a physician, not a friend or relative), then he is not able to give up his power in a Power of Attorney and his loved ones would have to become his conservator by going through the conservatorship process in probate court. Best wishes.

Howard E. Kane agrees with this answer

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I agree with attorney Julie King's answer. I want to add that a Power of Attorney in California, which covers finances, is revocable and a very cost-effective estate planning tool that should be utilized if possible. It can go into effect immediately or can be "springing", meaning, it goes into effect when he is no longer able to make financial decisions as determined by his physician. A Health Care Directive is for health care decisions that can also go into effect immediately or be springing. Attorney drafted documents to allow for more options versus downloadable internet documents.

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