Jennifer Solak

Jennifer Solak

As has been highlighted recently with the Britney Spears conservatorship, it’s important to document who can take the reins for you should you find yourself alive, but unable to make your own decisions. Whether it be mental illness, age-related dementia, or a serious accident, we are all susceptible to the potential for incapacity. While most people think about estate plans as creating a plan for dying, a complete plan also includes instructions for who can manage your affairs while you’re living.

When planning for potential incapacity, you’ll be selecting the person, or persons, you want to make your health, financial, and legal decisions for you until you recover. If you have trouble choosing someone, consider that the alternative is to have a court choose someone for you. This person could be a family member who you would never want to manage your affairs or a professional guardian who charges exorbitant fees. It is likely that you can make a better choice than the court.

Such planning can also prevent your family from enduring conflict, stress, and expense. Like most court proceedings, the process of naming a guardian can be quite lengthy, costly, and emotionally draining. And this is even assuming that your family members agree about what choices are best for you. If your family members disagree about the course of your medical treatment or managing your finances, this could lead to lengthy court battles between your loved ones. Such conflicts can tear your family apart and drain your estate’s finances. Make sure to document your wishes while you have the chance to do so.

If you would like to learn more about how advance planning can help you and your family, please contact Jennifer Solak at jennifer@solaklegal.com or 713-588-5744. For ongoing information, you can also subscribe to our video series at: TinyURL.com/SolakLegal.

The information in this column, which was sponsored by Solak Legal as part of The Leader Expert Series, is intended to provide a general understanding of the law and not legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult attorneys for advice on their particular circumstances. Jennifer Solak provides legal advice for families and businesses and may be contacted at jennifer@solaklegal.com or 713-588-5744.

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