Estate planning is best viewed as a comprehensive endeavor that goes beyond the matter of postmortem asset transfers. When you plan your estate, you should also consider end-of-life issues. With this in mind, we will look at the subject of conservatorship in this blog post.
The definition of a conservatorship will vary depending on the state in question. In some states, a conservator will handle the financial affairs of a ward who cannot handle his or her own affairs for one reason or another, and a guardian will handle personal affairs.
We practice law in the state of California. In California, a conservator would handle all of the affairs of an adult ward who is incapable of sound decision-making, and a guardian would manage the affairs of a minor child.
Drawbacks of Conservatorship
If you do not prepare for possible incapacity in advance, a conservatorship proceeding could take place if interested parties were to come to the conclusion that you could no longer handle your affairs as an elder. This is a necessary safeguard, but there are some drawbacks to take into consideration.
The matter of choice is at the top of the list. Ultimately, the state would appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. You would not be in a position to make this decision on your own.
In addition to the matter of choice, there is the possibility of disagreements among your loved ones during a conservatorship proceeding.
To prevent a conservatorship, you could be proactive about the implementation of incapacity planning strategies. Many people will execute durable powers of attorney to prepare for latter life incapacity. Durable powers of attorney are used because a durable power of attorney would remain in effect even if the person creating the power was to become incapacitated.
A durable financial power of attorney can be executed to name a financial manager, and you could add a durable power of attorney for health care to empower someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
When it comes to financial decision-making, there is another option to consider. If you use a revocable living trust as an asset transfer vehicle instead of a last will, you could empower a successor or disability trustee to administer the trust if you were to become incapacitated at some point in time.
Your incapacity plan should also include a living will. You would utilize a living will to record your wishes regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures.
Put an Incapacity Plan in Place
If you would like to put an incapacity plan in place, our firm would be glad to assist you. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a brief message through this page to set up an appointment: Los Angeles CA Incapacity Planning Attorneys.
To Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are interested in the possibility of working with our firm after learning these facts, please select our “Workshops” tab to RSVP for a free estate planning workshop. At that workshop you will be offered a free one-hour consultation with an attorney: www.collinslawgroup.com/seminars/