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Can you plan to avoid guardianship?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Guardianship

If you have read much about guardianship, you’ll know it can be problematic. There have been some terrible cases where an elder adult’s guardian has abused their power and stripped away assets for their own benefit. They have often consigned their charge to a miserable final few years in the process.

That’s not going to turn out well for you or your family. Not only might you miss out on the care and attention you deserve, but it could diminish what remains in your estate for your loved ones. Add to that the anguish they will feel once they realize what is going on, and it’s clear that planning to avoid such a situation is advisable.

Your estate plan can reduce the chance you face guardianship

Looking after yourself, as well as others, is a critical part of estate planning. There are two main things you can do to reduce the chance someone gets guardianship over you in the future:

  • Make an advanced health care directive: By spelling out things such as which retirement home you would like to be in and the types of treatment you would prefer, you reduce the need for a guardian.
  • Give someone power of attorney: The person you name can talk to doctors on your behalf if you are unable to due to illness. They can also do things such as make payments from your bank account or sign legal documents on your behalf. You can have just one power of attorney for everything or stipulate different ones for different roles.

Using your estate plan to clarify your choices on particular matters and nominate who can act on your behalf reduces the chance a court will approve anyone’s request for guardianship over you.