Guardianship sometimes also known as conservatorship refers to the court appointing a guardian to handle the legal, financial, and medical decisions for an individual when the court determines that they are no longer able to make their own decisions. Although the terms guardianship and conservatorship are used interchangeably Guardianship is the legal term used for minor children who do not have an adult to care for them and Conservatorship refers to when an adult becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions.
Guardianship and conservatorship proceedings most commonly occur in the absence of legal documents such as Living Wills, Trusts, or Health Care Proxies. Creating and funding a Revocable Living Trust is one of the most efficient ways to avoid having a court appointed Guardian for you or a loved one in the event that you or your loved one becomes incapacitated. With a Revocable Living Trust the creator of the Trust also known as the Trustor can appoint themselves to be the Trustee of the Trust to manage the assets within the Trust. They can also name themselves to be the beneficiary of the Trust so that the assets within the Trust are used for their benefit. The Trust allows a successor Trustee to be named so that if the Trustor becomes incapacitated the successor Trustee can step in and manage the assets within the Trust.
A Revocable Living Will includes documents such as Living Wills and Health Care Proxies and therefore allows you to name someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them for yourself. Other documents within the Trust include the Durable General Power of Attorney which provides coverage for assets which cannot be funded into the Trust such as Individual Retirement Accounts. A Revocable Living Trust allows the creator of the Trust to still maintain control over their assets and their lives even in the face of incapacity by appointing people they trust to manage their estate and making medical decions in their best interests.
To schedule your free consultation to discuss how to protect your minor children in the event that you are unable to care for them or how you can make sure your wishes regarding your estate are carried out if you become incapacitated call us at 718-607-8514.