What is a guardianship?
A guardianship is a court proceeding during which a judge will declare an individual incapacitated and name a guardian to manage that individual’s overall well-being (which includes medical) and financial decisions.
How to avoid guardianship?
Guardianships can take a long time and can be time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. The good news is that a guardianship, in most cases, can be avoided by simply planning for the possibility of incapacity.
There are two documents to consider if you want to avoid guardianship.
1. Durable Financial Power of Attorney
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give that special trustworthy someone the legal authority to manage your financial affairs. The “Durable” aspect of the Power of Attorney (POA) means that the POA continues to be effective even if you become incapacitated.
2. Advance Medical Directive
An Advance Medical Directive is a legal document by which an individual chooses a health care representative to make medical decisions for the individual if he or she is incapacitated and unable to make those decisions about permitting or withdrawing medical treatment. This is also more commonly called a Living Will.
If both documents are properly drafted, a guardianship should not be necessary.
If you are faced with a guardianship question, you should seek out the help of a qualified trust and estate attorney. Our attorneys are experienced in helping with guardianships, or drafting the documents discussed above in order to avoid one. Schedule a consult with one of our experienced estate law attorneys by calling 856.782.8450 or visiting our website at www.timriceelderlaw.com.