The FINC 355 Retirement and Estate Planning course has two estate planning cases. The following is Case #1: Incapacity Planning of a Parent. The case study must have a title page, Turnitin Originality Score (if required by the instructor), and a reference page. (There should be a minimum of three to four references for each case study.) Total page count of each case study should be 5 to 8 pages (1,500 to 2,400 words). The case studies will be evaluated on the completeness of the recommended solution(s) and the quality of the written assignment using the Course Written Paper Rubric provided in the course syllabus.
Case Study Incapacity Planning of a Parent
John Jones has just finished visiting his aging mother, Claire. Her home is uncharacteristically unkempt. Some bills are unpaid and others have been paid twice. She cannot remember when she last took her medicine and she tells the same stories repeatedly. John has contacted you, his financial adviser, about what he can do to protect his mother. Eventually, Claire’s signature will be needed to manage a bank account, pay a bill, or handle her property. Being that you are unable to do so on her behalf, a court could get involved if you do not plan.
John understands that a person who lacks a certain level of capacity cannot enter into a contract. Many people are surprised to find out that a simple will does not keep the court from intervening into their affairs if they become incapacitated. Without planning for incapacity, John could find himself and his family in a difficult situation.
John brings his mother, Claire, to your office for an assessment of how much she can process the information she is provided. During the assessment, you are looking for the following:
Does John’s mother understand the situation that brought her to your office?
If you provide her with information, can she process it and develop an opinion?
Can John’s mother communicate her opinions?
Are her opinions consistent with the opinions and values she has historically held?
Has she changed her values? What lead to the change?
Is she unduly susceptible or vulnerable to outside influences?
If you have any doubts about her capacity, you will ask your client to get an assessment from a physician, psychologist, or social worker. You have asked the family to seek the opinion of Claire’s doctor.
After a visit to her physician, it was determined that Claire could make and communicate her own decisions. However, the doctor informed the family that at some time in the near future Claire would likely be incapacitated. Claire’s physician suggests that the family make every effort to protect her from her own incapacity.
How Claire’s Capacity Can Affects Your Ability to Plan
After the assessment about what the client can and cannot understand, you as the financial adviser will have to address the following scenarios. These scenarios demonstrate how capacity affects Claire’s ability to plan. For example, due to Claire’s capacity can she perform the following:
Create or update her will? (If Claire has diminished capacity, can she create or update her will?)
Create a living trust? Can a family member protest the creation of the new trust based on Clair’s capacity?
Create or update her Power of Attorney? Can a family member dispute the Power of Attorney?
What estate planning documents are needed to protect Claire when she becomes incapacitated? Can she sign these documents?
Create or update her Advance Directive for Healthcare? Can Claire revoke her current Advance Directive for Healthcare?
Can Claire move into an assisted care facility and sell her home? Could the sale of the home be challenged? On what grounds? What (if anything) can you do to prevent a dispute?
Can Claire marry her new boyfriend? Can John protest the marriage?
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