Incapacitation And Orders For Guardianship And Conservatorship

Frequent inquiries made to the Estate Law Center, PLLC, relate to unfortunate situations where the cadence of life has been interrupted by a life-altering event, and an adult has lost the capacity to make decisions for himself, and has no estate planning documents in place.

What makes such a situation especially challenging, loved ones are now not only trying to navigate the emotions that arise during a life-altering event, they also have to address the issue of legal decision making - it is the type of "perfect storm" that planning in advance may have prevented.

Addressing the legal authority to make decisions for an adult who has become mentally incapacitated without having memorialized his wishes can be consuming of time, energy, and financial resources. For example, if an adult becomes mentally incapacitated, and does not have a power of attorney in place, someone will have to petition the court for guardianship in order to make decisions for the adult.

If the same adult has not placed his assets into a trust, and/or does not have a power of attorney in place, someone may have to petition the court for conservatorship of his estate in order to help manage the person's assets, which may include cash and savings accounts, wealth management accounts, and business interests.

Planning ahead and utilizing the tools of estate planning documents has aspects of risk management. It is wise not to leave your planning, your care, and who may be in charge of making decisions for you and your assets to the decision of others - especially, when faced with unexpected and life-altering events.

If you are concerned about a loved one's safety and ability to make decisions, contact the Estate Law Center, PLLC, today at 540-827-4395. You can also submit your inquiries online through our contact form.