We also use trusts and powers of attorney to avoid guardianships and conservatorships – also known as living probate. This arduous process isn’t talked about as much as the probate that occurs after death, but it’s just as, if not more, important because it impacts you personally during your lifetime.
If you become incapacitated during your lifetime and don’t have a trust with disability provisions and an up-to-date power of attorney, your loved ones will need to go to court and request a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding. The judge may or may not select a loved one to manage your assets on your behalf. Sometimes the court selects an attorney – a stranger – to act as guardian/conservator.
Just like the probate process after death, a living probate via guardianship proceedings area, expensive, public, time-consuming, stressful, and out of your control – and just like the probate process after death, it can so easily be avoided.
Littleton Legal PLLC can help you plan ahead, but if you don’t, we can also provide legal services to your loved ones in navigating the guardianship process.