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  • Lynn K. Girvin, Esq.

How an Estate Plan Avoids Conservatorship

Life can take unexpected turns. If you are concerned about what will happen to your property and finances if you become incapacitated, you may want to consider creating an estate plan. An estate plan is a set of legal documents that allow you to arrange your affairs and express your wishes for your future. One of the benefits of having an estate plan is that it can help you avoid or reduce the need for a conservatorship, which is a court-supervised process where someone else is appointed to manage your affairs for you.

A conservatorship can be costly, time-consuming, and intrusive. It can also limit your personal freedom and autonomy, as you may lose the right to make your own decisions or access your own assets. Moreover, a conservatorship may not reflect your preferences or values, as the court may appoint someone who does not know you well or share your views. Therefore, it is advisable to plan ahead and create an estate plan that can help you avoid or minimize the risk of a conservatorship.

There are different ways that an estate plan can help you avoid conservatorship, depending on your situation and goals. Some of the common methods are:

·         Power of attorney: This is a document that allows you to appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters, such as paying bills or filing taxes. You can choose when and how long this power will be effective, and you can revoke it at any time. A power of attorney gives you more control over your own affairs and reduces the burden on your family or friends who may have to apply for a conservatorship if you become incapacitated.

·         Revocable trust: This is a type of trust that you create during your lifetime and can change or cancel at any time. You transfer some or all your assets into the trust and name yourself as the trustee. The trustee has the responsibility to manage the trust according to its terms. The beneficiaries of the trust receive their inheritance directly from the trust, without going through probate or court supervision.

·         Health care directive: This is a document that allows you to appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. You can specify what kind of treatments or interventions you want or do not want in certain situations, such as life-sustaining measures or organ donation. A health care directive can help ensure that your wishes are respected and followed by medical professionals and family.

By creating an estate plan that includes these documents, you can avoid or reduce the need for a conservatorship and ensure that your affairs are handled according to your wishes. You can also save time, money, and hassle for yourself and your loved ones. However, estate planning can be complex and requires careful consideration of your personal and financial circumstances, as well as the applicable laws and regulations. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process and help you create an estate plan that suits your needs and goals.

Call me today to talk about getting your documents in place! (714) 619-4145.  I look forward to hearing from you!


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