If you don’t plan your estate, who will?

Our local probate court regularly appoints me to serve as an attorney ad litem in guardianship cases.  I normally see cases in which a family member is forced to seek to become the legal guardian for a parent who has become ill or infirm and is unable to care for themselves or take care of the business of daily life.  That's where I come in, as the court-appointed representative of the ill or infirm person, who is often suffering from dementia.

It doesn't have to be this way, though.  A little estate planning can protect you and your family.  The time for this planning is now.

If each of us would simply do proper estate planning, guardianships would likely never be needed.  By signing (at a minimum) a power of attorney and a medical power of attorney, you can choose the person who will make decisions for you, if you cannot make them for yourself.  You can plan your life now, while you are healthy and able to think clearly.  There is no good reason to force your family into a situation where they must go to court and ask a Judge to name a guardian of your person and your estate.  Don't force your family to go through this stressful and expensive process by neglecting your estate planning.  This might be the best Christmas gift that you can give to your children and grandchildren or whoever else might be the most likely person to seek a guardianship to care for you.