The matter of guardianship is something to take into consideration when you are planning your estate. When you first think about guardianship, you may think about minor children who are left without parents. Indeed, you can nominate a guardian when you are creating your last will if you have minor children still in your home with you.
However, there is another form of guardianship that you should consider when you are looking ahead toward the eventualities of aging.
A very significant percentage of seniors become unable to handle all of their own decision-making at some point in time. There is physical incapacity that can strike before death, and there is also mental incapacity that can have a long-term impact.
Although there are different underlying causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the leading threat. The Alzheimer’s Association is a fantastic source of information about this disease, and you may want to explore their site if you would like to educate yourself. According to the site, around 45 percent of the oldest old are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Once you reach the age of 65, it is likely that you will live into your eighties, and the oldest segment of the population is growing faster than any other. Some people think that they don’t have to worry about incapacity because they are healthy, but if you think about it, healthy people typically live longer lives.
If you were to become incapacitated without taking any steps in advance to prepare for the possibility, an adult guardianship hearing could be convened. Ultimately, the court could appoint a guardian to manage your affairs.
A guardianship can provide a solution under trying circumstances, but you can be proactive if you would like to prevent a guardianship and take the matter into your own hands. There is a type of power of attorney called a durable power of attorney that would remain in effect if you were to become incapacitated.
You can create a durable financial power of attorney to name someone to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation, and you could also include a durable power of attorney for health care decision-making.
Revocable living trusts can also be useful for incapacity planning purposes. If you use a revocable living trust as your vehicle of asset transfer, you could empower a disability trustee to administer the trust if you were to become incapacitated at some point in time.
If you would like to take steps to protect yourself and prevent a guardianship, our firm can help you put an incapacity plan in place. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through this page to set up an appointment: Grand Forks ND Incapacity Planning.