What Is A Guardianship?
It is no surprise that the older we get, the greater our chances of becoming mentally or physically incapacitated.
Yikes. Not a happy subject, it can be a big problem. A guardianship can be the result of becoming incapacitated. They can be extremely expensive as well as heartbreaking for your family, especially when your affairs are a mess.
Many have family members nearby who can jump in and help but not always. And, even if there are loved ones ready to help, they will likely need to sue you to get the correct permission to pay bills, access official accounts etc. Family members must turn to lawyers and the courts to get this appointment–a guardianship—an expensive and lengthy process.
What Can I Do?
The first thing to consider is your medical health. To be sure your health care decisions are made in a way you would like, you must get a medical power of attorney completed. This document names the person you have chosen to make decisions for you when you cannot. This person can be a family member or a friend that you really trust or else there will be a problem.
Next, if you unable to speak on your own with a doctor about your choices, it is likely you will also need a power of attorney document. This document allows the person of your choosing to take care of the non-medical issues that come up. A durable power of attorney appoints the person who will help the moment you cannot make decisions for yourself.
As you continue to age, it is wise to administer your assets through a trust that can be set up by an attorney. The trustee, named by you, has sole control of your assets. There are other legal steps you can take such as establishing an LLC or a family limited partnership to manage your assets too depending on your situation.
All of these options help to prevent that probate court situation where your loved ones must sue you to be appointed as a guardian for you if you become incapable of managing your own affairs. Certainly no one likes to be faced with these situations but the moment it happens, it is too late.