Careful Estate Planning can help minimize if not eliminate certain risks to your estate such as Conservatorship.
What is Conservatorship?
Adults are assumed to be able to make their own decisions unless a court determines otherwise. If a court finds an individual to be incapable of making decisions due to mental disability, the court will order a conservator – substitute decision maker be appointed. There are three main types of Conservatorships. Conservatorship of the person, Conservatorship of the estate and Conservatorship of both the estate and person. Conservators are generally responsible for making health care decisions and financial decisions for your estate. They will have to give timely reports on the conservatee’s assets and how all monies were spent. The conservator is also required to post a bond as a type of insurance to protect the conservatorship estate. The fees for the bond and other expenses incurred by the conservator will be paid from your estate. Resultantly, Conservatorships are expensive and should be used only when absolutely necessary.
How can Estate Planning protect my estate from a conservatorship?
Well thought out Estate plans include several legal documents that can help protect your estate from conservatorship.
Durable Power of Attorney for property and/or health care – This legal document allows you to authorize a person whom you trust to handle the affairs of your estate and any healthcare decisions should you become incapacitated.
Advanced Health Care Directive – This is often included in Estate planning to leave instruction for the use of artificial life support should it be needed in your health care. Family members will not have to be faced with the decision since your wishes will be clearly laid out.
Trusts– Trusts can be used to hold your property where the trustee will manage all properties in the estate even if you become incapacitated.
Estate Planning can enable you to avoid costly Conservatorships by preparing in advance for the care of your assets. Legal documents that authorize persons to care for your health or property leave no reason for the courts to become involved, thereby ensuring your wishes for your estate are carried out.
Considering the high costs involved in Conservatorships, estate planning is an attractive option. Seeking the advice and professionalism of an estate planning attorney now can save you from disastrous situations in the future. Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. is an experienced estate planning law firm providing individually tailored plans to fit our clients’ needs. Attorney Julie Fiedler is experienced in setting up estates to avoid costly Conservatorships. After a careful review of the details and fees involved in the process, we begin to structure an estate plan based on our clients’ concerns and goals. Our Law Offices are located throughout the state and serves California in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.