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Can careful estate planning help you avoid a guardianship?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Long-term independence is often the main goal of those thinking about their retirement and golden years in Colorado. Aging in place is often part of the plan, as the people feel more comfortable staying in the same home and have a better idea of how to plan their budget for the future.

Someone’s plans may end up going awry if a doctor diagnoses them with Alzheimer’s disease or another condition that causes dementia. They could find themselves subject to a guardianship where a family member or possibly a professional caregiver suddenly has control over their daily lives.

Careful planning earlier in life can protect many adults from the risks of incapacity as they age.

Durable powers of attorney are valuable solutions

When someone creates powers of attorney, they protect themselves from future medical emergencies where they can no longer handle their own matters. Although many powers of attorney are only used after emergencies like car crashes or strokes, powers of attorney can also play a role when someone will experience long-term incapacitation due to age.

When the documents include language that makes them durable, meaning they retain their authority even after someone no longer has the legal capacity to create future documents, their powers of attorney may designate agents to act on their behalf until they die.

Provided that those agents or attorneys-in-fact do make appropriate medical decisions and manage someone’s finances as they should, it may be possible for vulnerable older adults to avoid the formal loss of legal authority to guardianship or conservatorship proceedings.

Your plans give you protection and peace of mind

You may know because of your extended family that most people in your family tree remain healthy and clear long into their 80s or 90s. Still, you never know if chemical exposure at work or underlying health conditions might mean you have a different outcome than your parents and grandparents.

It is typically the best option for those preparing for retirement to think about every issue that could arise as they grow older. Powers of attorney could help you in a sudden emergency or if you experience a slow decline as you age. Adding the right documents to your estate plan and keeping them up to date will help you move forward with confidence, regardless of what happens in life.