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Mother's Incapacity

Jack's mother always took care of herself, paid her own bills, and looked
after her own healthcare. When Mother started to forget important things and
stopped going to her regular doctor visits, Jack had to do something. Jack's
older sister and younger brother also thought something needed to be done,
but their plan was to sell Mother's home and to put her in an assisted
living facility. Jack, on the other hand, had a different plan. He lived in Mother's home and
according to him, Mother said she wants to live at home.

As Jack and his siblings could not agree on how to take care of their
Mother, her condition worsened and the bills started to fall behind. Jack
was the only child that remained at home and his brother and sister moved
out of state long before. Mother did not seem to care where she lived or who
took care of her, but in actuality, she just did not understand these
choices anymore.

After Mother could not make her own healthcare and financial decisions, Jack
and his siblings could only help Mother by establishing a guardianship and
conservatorship through a rather involved probate court process. When the
siblings could not agree on who would be Mother's guardian, Jack and his
sister squared off in court six months after Jack filed to be Mother's
guardian and conservator. A child as guardian of their parent would be in
charge of the parents health care decisions and a conservator of a parent
would be the person in charge of that parent's financial decisions.

Jack and his siblings would fight with each other in the
probate court with the good intentions of taking care of mother - but the
end result here is a lot of anxiety and misery within the family and the
added insult of tens of thousands of dollars of attorney and court fees to
boot. This result is something that Jack's mother would have never wanted
for her children. The main reason this common occurrence of unfortunate
events unfolded is because Mother did not establish her estate plan and did
not plan for her own incapacity with Health Care and Financial incapacity
documents. Those "incapacity documents" in Georgia are called the Advance
Directive for Health Care (ADHC) and Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA). The
reasonable costs for such attorney-prepared documents is a few hundred
dollars. The expected costs to establish guardianship and conservatorship
are a few TENS of thousands of dollars .

The "take away" here is to plan for the time when you will be incapacitated.
It's not a question of "if" you will need to deal with incapacity (>50%
likelihood), it's a matter of when. It's not always about you and your
incapacity, instead it could be your spouse or parent or brother or sister
that may need your help. If these documents are not established for that
close relative, it may be your money, time and aggravation that will need to
be spent to litigate a guardianship proceeding for your loved one. Instead,
by establishing incapacity documents with an experienced trusts and estate
attorney, the benefits of peace of mind and elimination of costly future
legal expenses, by far, outweigh the costs in every case.

At the Meyring Law Firm, we make estate planning accessible, easy to
understand, and "lifetime" supported. We understand that making a will or
trust , or probating a family member's estate is hard and has long-lasting,
legal effects. We specialize at making these issues easier to resolve. We
serve as your guide through the process and as your family's legal support
after the final documents are signed. We have taken care of a lot of "Jacks"
and their Mothers and have focused our legal services on keeping families
together through transitions and tough times.