Avoid Conflicts Related To Incapacity

For doctors and courts, when it comes to decisions that affect the estate and finances of an elderly person, they consider one question: Does this person have the ability to make informed decisions?

Competency and capacity are determined by two separate parties:

  • Competency is a legal determination made by the court.
  • Capacity is a diagnosis made by a medical doctor.

The two can be at odds with each other. At that point, there can be dueling physician evidence and a court proceeding is in order. The Center for Elder Law & Estate Planning can help you plan for and avoid these conflicts.

Make A Plan For Your Future

Everyone, especially in their older years, should have a plan for their health care, including who should make decisions for them if they become incapacitated due to an accident, traumatic event, mental illness, dementia or Alzheimer's, etc.

Generally, this is accomplished by appointing "agents" or substitute authorities under a legal document. For business and financial decisions (decisions of the "estate"), this legal document is called a durable power of attorney. For medical and personal decisions (decisions of the "person"), this legal document is called a health care proxy.

If neither of these authorities is appointed through a legal document, a court will appoint a guardian for personal and medical decisions and a conservator for business and financial decisions.

Helping You Now And In The Future

Our attorneys help elderly clients who are facing urgent health care issues today and those who have decided to plan for tomorrow.

Speak to one of our lawyers in a free consultation by calling 888-784-0864 or contacting us online. We serve the Greater Boston area, South Shore and eastern Massachusetts.