Ardent for Life Business ~ Holiday 2015

Page 19


Conservatorship can be avoided if the proper estate planning is done before the period of incapacitation. of Attorneys (POA), are used to avoid Living Probate and Revocable Living Trusts (RLT) are used to avoid both Living and Death Probate. These documents, working together, give your chosen representative the authority to act on your behalf without the need to go to court. For example, the HCPOA and AHCD allow your loved ones to make both long-term health care decisions, as well as endof-life directions quickly as possible based upon your personal desires. We all remember the Terri Schiavo case in the 1990s where her family was nearly bankrupt with legal fees just to have a judge decide who had a right to say whether she lived or died—imagine the emotional turmoil her family went through. If she had prepared at least the AHCD, it would have saved her family thousands in legal fees and the family unity. An example of a POA would allow your chosen agent to enter into contract such as with an in-home care agency or nursing home facility, without having to seek court permission. A POA is much simpler and less expensive than conservatorship. Unfortunately, if your loved one is at the point where she is no longer able to understand a legal document, she will likely be considered incompetent and would no longer be able to sign a POA. In that case, a court-appointed conservator may be the only remaining option. A RLT is the estate planning tool that also allows your successor to step into your shoes in the event of incapacitation and death, thus avoiding the need for court intervention, since your assets are held in the RLT, the successor Trustee automatically becomes the new manager of the assets in the event of incapacitation or death. Are you making these mistakes and want to avoid them? Living Probate can be avoided if the proper estate planning is done before the period of incapacitation. Unfortunately, we do not know the date incapacity will happen, so it’s best to plan today.

This information is only a guide. Consult with an attorney for legal advice. Theresa Carter Geoffroy (916) 572-1998 9401 East Stockton Blvd., Suite 140, Elk Grove, CA.   19

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