Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Legal assistance with complex issues related to guardianships

Houstonians who are aging and their loved ones will inevitably consider the future and how to make certain that the elderly people or those with issues that might lead to incapacitation are protected. This is particularly important if health and competence are clearly in decline. These are complex issues that require families to work together to make certain that any issue in dispute is mitigated and the person is adequately protected. This is why it is imperative to have legal help for these matters.

When a person’s capacity is declining, the obvious choice is often a guardianship. However, this might not be the best possible option and there are alternatives that could be preferable. A power of attorney, a trust or a management trust are all potential choices. The power of attorney can be for medical purposes letting the person designate someone to make the medical decisions if he or she can no longer do so. It can also be used for financial matters, letting another make the financial decisions on the person’s behalf.

A trust can detail what will happen if the person becomes incapacitated. For example, the assets can be transferred to the trust with the trustee granted the power to use the assets to benefit the person. The decisions are made by the trustee, but the trustee is required to use the assets wisely and based on the trust documents. A management trust will be created by the probate court. They will be managed by a bank or a trust company. There are specific guidelines for this to make certain that the funds are being utilized to benefit the person and risks will not be taken.

A person who is concerned about the future can also name a guardian of his or her own choosing. It is also possible to designate people who are not to be named as guardian. These issues are difficult and can be confusing. With guardianships and a person’s future at stake, having legal help when deciding how to appoint trustees, decide on powers of attorney and more will be ably assisted by consulting with a qualified attorney.