What is a conservatorship? This is a provision that is made to care for financial and other matters when a person is determined by the courts to be incapable of caring for his or herself. But does this mean that you are doomed to a conservatorship being put in place if you are suffering from a mental illness? Not necessarily. Here are a couple of things to consider:
- In order for a conservatorship to be forced upon a person, they must be “gravely disabled.” While it is up to the court to determine what that means, there has to be proof that you can’t take proper care of yourself due to the mental illness.
- There must be proof that you cannot provide for your own basic needs. Basic needs include acquiring things such as clothing, food, and shelter. In many cases, a person suffering from a mental illness can still hold down a job, find a place for rent, afford suitable clothing, and keep the pantry stocked.
There are cases when mental illness can be so severe that a person is unable to obtain these necessities properly. For example, an uncontrolled case of schizophrenia may leave a person homeless and severely deprived of proper food or clothing. On the other hand, someone else with the exact same condition may experience similar symptoms but have it under control to the point of being able to function autonomously.Read More
While you probably don’t want to think about someone else having to raise your precious little ones, if you and your spouse experience an accident, you don’t want to add to the tragedy by not having a plan in place. Here are 5 tips for selecting an appropriate guardian should an accident leave your children orphaned.
- Someone your kids like – If you have friends that just make your kids go, “Ugh, do we have to see them again?” that’s probably not the family to leave your kids to.
- Values and parenting style – Every parent is going to raise their kids a little different, but if you have friends that you see raising their kids the way you would want yours to be taken care of, that’s a good option as a guardian.
- Location – Will your kids suddenly find themselves without parents and having to adjust to a new town and school? If you have nearby friends who could be the guardians, that can reduce the upheaval.
- Age and health – While you may want to leave your kids to your parents should something happen to you, how old are your parents? How is their health? Who would they leave the kids to if they also pass away before the kids are old enough to be on their own?
- Prepare the kids – Talk to your kids about who you have listed in your estate plan as guardians and why. Knowing your desire to care for them, even if you can’t be here to do it yourself, may be comforting, especially if your kids end up with those guardians someday.
Estate Plans with No Loose Ends in Southern California
If you need assistance with legally drafting an estate plan in the state of California, contact Petrov Law Firm by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you to prepare for your future and tie up loose ends to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.Read More
If you’ve been watching as a family member slowly loses memory or cognitive function, you will eventually have to use the court system to legally claim the person is incompetent. Generally, this is a time-consuming process that will require the help of an estate planner and several doctors.
If you suspect that your parent is quickly losing the ability to make sound decisions, quietly and quickly consult with any attending physicians. In addition, discreetly seek the advice of a lawyer. You may want to avoid any conversations with your family about such a sensitive issue. If your parent has a spouse (perhaps your other parent, or not), you may need additional legal maneuvers if that spouse is not the best person to make decisions for your parent.
Your parent’s will is going to quickly become a contentious topic if there is a significant amount of money or property to be managed. Your parent is likely to be assigned a guardian of his or her estate. Frequently that is the surviving spouse. Once that guardian take control, he or she will have significant control of the estate’s assets.
A lawyer can easily ensure that your parent’s estate, in its present form, is protected from any irresponsible or mischievous actions by the most likely guardian. Frequently, a third-party, like an accountant or lawyer, is the best person to control the estate until your parent’s estate is distributed upon his or her death.
Guardianship is a complicated legal and emotional matter. Hire a lawyer before you begin talking about the issue with anyone in the family.Read More
Even if you don’t have a home or substantial savings, you should speak to an estate planner if you have children. Your social security check will go to your children until they turn 18, and that is a sufficient amount of money to warrant estate planning.
First, you will want to establish the best person to raise your children. Appointing the right guardian will ensure that you children are raised in a supportive and loving home. If you choose, you can appoint a different “property guardian” to manage the inheritance and social security that will belong to your children.
If you want to exercise more control over the money the children will inherit, you should ask an estate planner about setting up the right kind of trust. You can establish various trusts to help manage your various assets. For example, you could create a trust exclusively for your family home or summer house to ensure your children always have it. You can establish a family trust out of which all your children can benefit. Or you can establish individual trusts based on the projected needs of each child.
With minimal planning now, your children could have life-long benefits of well managed money and property. Without the guidance of an estate planner, your children could be left with no resources upon turning 18.Read More
If you have a disabled child, you have the challenging task of creating a plan to ensure he or she is comfortable even after your passing. One of the most important tasks is to appoint a guardian for your child’s medical care and financial matters. An estate attorney can help you think through all the likely scenarios and create a comprehensive plan for the life of your disabled child.
You can select different people to keep watch over your child’s financial and medical matters. A “guardian of person” is responsible for medical care, placement, and the coordination of social services.
A “guardian of estate” makes all the financial decisions but remains unconcerned about placement or care. The person given full authority to make care or financial decisions is frequently referred to as the plenary guardian.
You and your lawyer can also craft a will that will allow for a limited guardianship — allowing the guardian the right to make decisions within a limited scope of care concerns or financial concerns.
Your disabled child is likely to live long after your passing.
Creating a fully comprehensive estate plan with an estate lawyer will ensure that your child is comfortable for his or her entire life.Read More