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Guardianships Should Be a Last Resort

Estate Planning Attorneys Ann Arbor

Do you or a loved one need help making financial or medical decisions?

Are guardianships a good thing?

It depends on your situation. Guardianships remove you from being able to take control over your own life and puts the control into the hands of someone you trust. However, you should first consider less extreme option.  

  1. Limited guardianships –takes away your right to make decisions for yourself, but limited guardianships focus on specific aspects of your life such as finances and estate issues, medical and healthcare decisions.
  2. Powers of attorney –established for medical or financial decision making. For example, a financial power of attorney will put a second person in control of your bank accounts to ensure no harm comes of your estate in the event you become incapacitated.
  3. Trust – an important estate planning tool that allow you to name the person to manage your trust assets in the event you become incapacitated. 

Think Ahead!

It’s critical to think ahead and name the person you want in charge of your finances and medical decisions in the event you become incapacitated. A Power of Attorney is an excellent way to name your potential guardian or conservator if one is needed. If you do not name this person, the state court will do it for you.

According to Kiplinger, “Before it becomes necessary for a guardian to be appointed to handle your physical or financial decisions, think about whom you would trust to act in that capacity and put it in writing. Let others know that if a guardian is needed, this is the person you want to serve in that capacity. A one-page directive will make your wishes clear and remove this important decision from a judge, who knows nothing about you or your priorities.

Delegate a second set of eyes now to support you down the road – preferably someone younger, whom you trust will bring a fresh perspective and a good understanding of money management. If you don’t think about these things now, the state will make the decision for you.”

Our attorneys are very experienced in assisting in guardianships and estate plans. Feel free to contact any of our estate planning attorneys in Ann Arbor to discuss your questions or contact us to schedule an initial consultation!

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