Adult children who realize that they must step in and care for their aging parents suddenly have many things to deal with and many questions. It can be even more difficult to learn that your loved one did not engage in any estate planning. The transition of control from your loved one’s personal affairs to your own management can be a difficult one.

Creating a power of attorney document or a will is not always the best solution if this person’s physical or mental condition has declined significantly and the very basis of this document could be challenged in the future.

Mental capacity is a complicated subject that is especially difficult when conditions like dementia are a factor. A senior with some type of cognitive decline might have lucid moments in which they could be classified as legally competent to sign a will. Different legal documents have different levels of required mental capacity. A person who has Alzheimer’s disease, even one who is currently under legal guardianship with someone else, may still have the testamentary capacity to make a valid will.

So long as the state standards can be met, they could meet testamentary capacity, such as being aware of their beneficiaries, comprehending the type and character of their property and understanding the purpose of creating a will. A slightly different competency test is known for the execution of a power of attorney. For more help in crafting these important estate planning documents, set up a meeting with an estate planning attorney in CA today.

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