Planning for the possibility of adult guardianship in advance can be an important step to ensure that your wishes are respected, and that you have a say in who will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
While you may not entirely prevent the need for adult guardianship, there are proactive measures you can take to minimize the likelihood of it occurring. In this article, we will explore strategies for preventing a potential adult guardianship in advance.
Establishing Advance Directives
Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to specify your healthcare preferences and designate a trusted individual to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you are unable to do so. By creating a durable power of attorney for healthcare, you can choose someone you trust to act as your healthcare agent. This agent will advocate for your medical treatment choices.
This document provides clear instructions and can help prevent the need for a court-appointed guardian to make healthcare decisions for you.
Creating a Financial Power of Attorney
Similar to a healthcare power of attorney, a financial power of attorney allows you to appoint someone as your agent to handle financial matters if you become incapacitated. By designating a trusted individual to manage your finances, pay bills, and make financial decisions on your behalf, you can help prevent the need for a guardianship. A guardianship grants someone else the authority to handle your financial affairs.
Establishing a Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust can be a valuable tool for asset management during incapacity. By transferring ownership of your assets to the trust and naming yourself as the initial trustee, you can maintain control over your assets. You can also designate a successor trustee to step in and manage them if you become incapacitated. This can help prevent the need for a guardian to handle your financial matters. This is because the successor trustee can seamlessly assume the role without court intervention.
Communicating Your Wishes
Openly communicating your wishes regarding medical and financial decision-making with your loved ones is crucial. By discussing your preferences and values with trusted individuals, you can help ensure that they understand your desires and can advocate for you if the need arises.
Sharing information about your chosen healthcare agent and financial power of attorney can prevent confusion and potential conflicts among family members or other interested parties.
Regularly Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan
Life circumstances can change over time. Thus, it is important to regularly review and update your estate plan to reflect these changes. By keeping your estate planning documents up to date, you can ensure that your wishes remain current, and that the individuals you have designated are still appropriate choices.
Seek Professional Guidance
Working with an attorney from our firm can help you navigate the legal complexities. We can ensure that your wishes are properly documented. We can also guide you through the process of establishing advance directives, creating powers of attorney, and developing a comprehensive estate plan that aligns with your goals.
If you are ready to set the wheels in motion, you can reach our Oklahoma City office at 405-843-6100. The number for the Tulsa location is 918-615-2700. There is also a contact form on this site, if you would prefer to send us a message.
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