Planning for Disability or Incapacity
If your name is on the title to your assets and you become unable to handle your financial affairs due to temporary and permanent incapacitation who will conduct business for you? If you do not have a Trust appointing the person who will handle your affairs, a public hearing will be held and if you are found incompetent, a guardian/conservator will be appointed by the court, it may be your spouse, a family member, but the court can appoint a professional who does not know you.
The court will oversee the appointed guardian/conservator to protect your interests and make sure your assets are not squandered. However, this protection is not free or easy. It can become costly, time consuming and cumbersome with annual accountings, bonds, reports, ongoing determinations of incompetency, and fees for attorneys, accountants, doctors and guardians. All costs are paid from your assets, reducing the amount available to pay for your care, and court proceedings are part of the public probate record.
This court supervision of your assets and care usually lasts until you recover or die, which could be years. If you recover, you will have to prove your competency to the court. Most families prefer to handle these matters privately, outside the court system.
Planning Ahead for Disability or Incapacity Through a Living Trust:
- Prevents court control of your assets and your care at incapacity, avoiding associated costs, delays and lack of privacy.
- Lets you have some say about where you will receive care and who will provide it. Lets your family know how to provide and pay for your care before it is needed, reducing the risk of rushed and costly decisions.
- Minimizes emotional stress on you and your family.
- Helps you live as independently as possible for as long as possible.
- Can help you remain in your home for as long as possible if that is what you want.
- Gives you maximum control, privacy and peace of mind.