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The Role of a Guardian in Estate Planning

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What is the role of a guardian in estate planning

In the event of an individual’s incapacity, guardianship is a legal way to assign another person to handle their personal and financial affairs.

A guardian is a family member, spouse, parent, friend or a court-appointed person who will be responsible for making decisions in the best interest of their ward. This can include arranging housing, medical treatment, travel and a number of other aspects.

Managing the Personal and Financial Affairs of an Incapacitated Person

When a person becomes incapacitated due to an accident, illness or old age, they need to have someone to manage their financial and personal affairs for them. Usually, this can be done with a durable general power of attorney.

Alternatively, a guardian can be appointed for the incapacitated individual under Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law. The powers that a guardian is granted by the court will be specifically tailored to meet the specific needs of the incapacitated person.

Guardians must use “reasonable prudence” in managing the assets of an incapacitated person. They must also avoid conflicts of interest or decisions that may benefit them, and they cannot invest the assets in businesses or corporations that are owned or controlled by them.

The guardian should help the incapacitated person develop as much self-reliance as possible, including assisting in obtaining employment and arranging for appropriate education and medical care. They should also assist the incapacitated person in meeting the basic needs of life, such as food, clothing and shelter.

A guardian should visit the incapacitated person regularly, preferably at least once a month, and observe their behavior, needs and activities. This will help the guardian to make informed decisions about their care and financial management. This is particularly important if the ward has dementia or another form of cognitive impairment that makes it difficult to make decisions or take action for themselves.

Managing the Personal and Financial Affairs of a Minor

A guardian can play a key role in estate planning. He or she may be tasked with managing your finances, distributing your property, providing care for you should the need arise, and helping you to maintain a positive quality of life when the time comes. In the right circumstances, a guardian may be the best decision you could make for yourself or a loved one.

The responsibilities and duties of a guardian may be daunting, but there are plenty of resources to assist in this endeavor. A guardian can be a part-time professional, a family member, or even an unsung hero.

A well-crafted and carefully thought out estate plan is a smart move. It will ensure that your wishes are honored, and that all of the people and organizations who matter to you receive what they are owed. For example, you might want to name a person as executor of your will or grant them the authority to manage your assets and property, such as your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and real estate holdings. The best way to do this is to sit down with an experienced attorney and create a solid plan that will protect you and your loved ones for years to come.

Managing the Personal and Financial Affairs of an Adult

Whether you’re a young adult or an aging parent, it’s important to think about the possibility of your death. If you pass away without a will or trust in place, your assets may go through probate, which can be time-consuming and costly for loved ones.

However, if you are able to plan ahead and name someone who will handle your affairs in the event of your death, such as a power of attorney, this will alleviate the burden on family members. The power of attorney will manage your finances as well as make medical decisions in the event you are incapacitated.

It’s a good idea to get your younger generation involved in the estate planning process, so they can understand what you want done with your estate and be aware of their role in ensuring it happens. This will also help reduce the likelihood of a dispute over your wishes and assets. You can do this by teaching them about your retirement accounts, insurance plans, and medical directives. It’s a good idea to discuss all of this with a financial advisor as well. It can also be helpful to set specific goals for your estate planning and then talk through them with the professionals you work with.

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