Nobody wants to end up the subject of a guardianship or a conservator-ship probate court proceeding. The result is the loss of your right to make basic decisions about your life and assets. To prevent this from happening you must plan in advance by utilizing the following estate planning documents.
Powers of Attorney
A financial power of attorney grants a person you select (not the court) the authority to handle your financial affairs. It can be drafted to become effective upon your incapacity or upon signing, whichever you choose. A medical power of attorney permits you (not the court) to designate a person to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you no longer can, including what medical treatment you will receive and whether to withdraw life support in case of incurable illness or injury. You can change or revoke either of the powers of attorney at any time.
A Revocable Trust
A Revocable Trust is a document that enables you to: 1) direct who will handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated; and 2) control when and to whom your property will be distributed after your death – without going through probate. In it, you name a Trustee, usually yourself, to manage assets you place in trust. If you become incapacitated, the Trust provides for the automatic appointment of a Successor Trustee you have chosen (not the court). Your Successor Trustee is required to use and manage the Trust assets as you direct in the Trust. You can revoke or change the Trust terms at anytime.