It can be nerve-wracking for parents to send their adult children out into the world to fend for themselves. However, when parents have special needs children, sometimes they never let them go in this fashion because the children are unable to live independently on their own. Texas parents whose children are either developmentally or intellectually disabled may have some very unique estate planning challenges that need to be addressed.
Posts tagged "guardianship"
Many individuals may be under the common misconception that estate planning and wills are only for older Texas residents. However, age should not be considered a determining factor when it comes to deciding if it is time to draft a will or begin one's estate planning process. Indeed, wills are important because they instruct the people who survive a deceased loved one on how that person may have wanted possessions and financial assets to be distributed and divided in the wake of death.
One important aspect of completing the estate planning process is having a living will on file. This way, if a Texas resident is incapacitated and unable to make decisions for him or herself, a medical power of attorney will be clearly defined. It is also important to keep such documents up to date in the event of a major life change, such as being separated from an estranged spouse. Even prior to finalizing a divorce, one can have a different family member serve as one's medical power of attorney in one's estate guardianship instructions.
Readers in Texas know well that estate planning is an important process, both to the person making the plan and to those left behind. What the may not have considered is that there are many more aspects to estate planning then just creating a simple will. This is the case for individuals, regardless of their age or the size of their estate.
Super Storm Sandy was a large weather event that ended with people across the northeastern part of our country suffering severe damage, including flooding and the loss of their homes. Though this storm took place far from Texas, the storm may have reminded many in our state of the importance of estate planning. This is because in some cases, the super storm left people unable to care for their property, including beloved family pets.
As a person ages, it can be difficult for their family to determine what, if any, actions should be taken to assist them with their daily needs. This is especially true if an elderly person begins to show signs of dementia or other age-related diseases. Some in the field of elder care refer to the earliest stages of dementia as "the grey zone." In such cases, families in Texas sometimes turn to guardianship alternatives such as a power of attorney.
When a court appoints a guardian to care for an elderly or disabled person, the individual appointed is entrusted with the responsibility to oversee and make many decisions in the best interests of the person under their care. Other times, guardianship alternatives such as powers of attorneys are used. No matter which approach is followed, sometimes the person entrusted with the guardianship may misuse financial resources or otherwise abuse or neglect the person whose welfare they have been entrusted with. Texas Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has co-sponsored, with Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act, which cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, and is now headed to the full Senate for voting.