Don’t have a Power of Attorney for Property in place? In the event that you are incapacitated and cannot manage your finances for yourself, your family may be forced to pay considerable legal fees and expenses to have a family member appointed as your Guardian of the Estate in a court proceeding. The Court will need to make findings that you are a disabled adult based upon a medical report, which will take time and could cause your family further expense.
The duties of the Guardian of the Estate only arise after you are rendered legally incompetent, and include managing your all of your personal and real property matters under the supervision of the court. The Guardian of the Estate is required under law to report to the Court annually and present an accounting of the income and expenses of the estate for the prior year or the time for which the guardian has served, and the assets and liabilities of the estate become public record.
Often times, the appointment of a Guardian of the Estate is the only protective measure against an agent under a Power of Attorney for Property who has breaches his or her duty to you, as only a Guardian of the Estate can act to strip such an agent of their authority. In addition, the Guardian of the Estate can help you with your will if you succumb to diminished mental capacity as you grow older. A Guardian of the Estate can act to prevent family members, care givers, neighbors, or other acquaintances from exerting undue influence or coercion over you in your vulnerable state, and in doing so ensure that your estate passes as you intend.
Our estate planning and probate attorneys at Spesia & Taylor have great experience working with family members seeking appointment as Guardian of the Estate in both straightforward situations as well as protracted litigation. Our attorneys will work with you to ensure that your needs, your financial and testamentary goals, and the needs of your family are secured so that you don’t have to worry about the future.