A key part of creating an estate plan involves preparing for the possibility that you might one day lose capacity and will need someone else to make decisions for you. Incapacity planning in Grand Forks ND involves creating different devices, such as powers of attorney, advance medical directives, and even living trusts. These devices are designed to protect you and your interests should you lose your ability to make your own choices. In the event you do not have an incapacity plan, a court will step in to appoint one or more people to manage your finances and personal affairs.
But what happens if, after becoming incapacitated, you regain your ability to make choices? To get a better understanding of incapacity planning in Grand Forks and how regaining capacity affects it, let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions.
Incapacity Planning in Grand Forks ND
Question 1. What is incapacity?
Incapacity is a legal term that applies when a court determines that a formerly capable adult no longer has the ability to make choices. Though the precise definition of incapacity differs slightly from state to state, it rests on the determination that a person is no longer able to make reasonable decisions, provide for his or her own basic needs, or demonstrates an inability to manage his or her own financial and property affairs.
When, for example, someone is involved in an accident and is left unconscious or comatose, that person is no longer able to make choices or provide for him or herself. If this happens to someone without an incapacity plan, a court will have to make a legal determination that the person is incapacitated. It will do this after holding a hearing and listening to evidence about that person’s capabilities.
On the other hand, with an incapacity plan in place, a court doesn’t have to get involved. Instead, the incapacitated person already has one or more people there who will be able to step in to make decisions.
Question 2. What if I lose capacity and later regain it?
It is possible for a person to lose decision-making abilities and then, after recovering, regain those abilities. This can happen, for example, when an adult is involved in serious accident, receives medical treatment, and is able to regain decision making capability.
If the incapacitated person had an incapacity plan, that plan will address the issue of regaining capacity. For example, the agent granted power under power of attorney might have his or her powers terminated as soon as the incapacitated person’s doctors determined that he or she has regained capability.
On the other hand, if the incapacitated person did not have an incapacity plan, it would be up to a court to hold hearing and determine if that person has regained capacity.