If you were to become incapable of handling your own affairs due to mental or physical incapacity, interested parties could petition the court to appoint a guardian to act in your behalf. You may have no say about who this guardian is going to be, and if the petition is granted you could become a ward of the state.
This is a prospect that is not appealing to many people, but the good news is that you can avoid guardianship proceedings if you engage in intelligent incapacity planning.
There are a lot of good reasons to create a revocable living trust, and the fact that these trusts enable probate avoidance would be at the top of the list. Probate can be a long drawn out process that stands in the way of your heirs receiving their inheritances in a reasonably quick and efficient manner. Probate is also expensive and it is not uncommon for costs incurred during the probate process to consume between 5% and 10% of the overall value of your estate.
But in addition to providing for asset transfers outside of probate, you can include provisions in a revocable living trust agreement that could circumvent the need for guardianship proceedings should you become incapacitated. A lot of people who create a revocable living trust will serve as the trustee while they are still alive and well. But you could include the appointment of a disability trustee who would take over and handle the administration of the trust in the event of your incapacity.
This is just one way to prepare yourself for the possibility of incapacitation. To explore the matter in greater detail simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorney.