The matter of guardianship is something to take into consideration when you are planning your estate as a parent of a minor child. It can also come into play when you are preparing for the eventualities of aging. In this post we will look at some of the details.
Nominating a Guardian
If you have minor children still in the home, estate planning is a must for a number of different reasons. You want to make sure that your family has a financial underpinning to draw from if you were to pass away unexpectedly. There is also the matter of guardianship.
When you are creating an estate plan, you could nominate a guardian in your last will. It is very likely that the guardian that you nominate in the will would be empowered by the court to take care of your child if both parents were to pass away.
A very significant percentage of elders become unable to handle their own affairs at some point in time. Some people suffer from physical ailments that can make it possible to communicate, and there are those who experience cognitive impairment.
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of mental incapacitation. While you have certainly heard of the disease, you may be surprised when you hear about its widespread nature. Around 45 percent of people who have reached the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is actually the fastest-growing age group according to the most recent census.
If you do nothing to prepare for incapacity, interested parties could petition the state to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf. You would become a ward if a guardianship was ordered by the court.
This can be a disconcerting arrangement, because you would have no control over the actions of the court.
Preventing a Guardianship
When you plan your estate you could take action to prevent a guardianship. This is typically done through the execution of legally binding documents called durable powers of attorney.
With a durable power of attorney for health care, you name an agent or attorney-in-fact who can make health care decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. You can also execute a durable financial power of attorney to name a financial decision maker.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Estate planning is important for the parents of minor children, but unfortunately, many young adults are unprepared.
When you look at the facts, you can also see that incapacity planning is a must for all responsible adults.
If you would like to put a plan in place, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can request an appointment through this link: Indianapolis Estate Planning Attorney.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.