When creating your Massachusetts estate plan, there are many factors to consider, from who gets the jewelry and car to setting up a trust for your minor children or grandchildren. However, establishing a legal guardian in the event you become incapacitated is crucial to maintaining your care and finances. At Curley Law Firm LLP, we help clients protect their assets and minimize general liability risks by ensuring a responsible person can make decisions if mental capacity becomes impaired.
When seniors in Massachusetts become too old to care for themselves, concerned parties may establish guardianships and conservatorships to protect them. The problem is that these well-meaning systems often cause more harm than good to unsuspecting seniors who may even welcome the additional assistance.
Guardianship is ideal for many people, such as minor children who are in need of an adult to take care of them and people who have become incapacitated due to age or for another reason. However, mental illness is another reason why some people are in need of guardianship, and we will explore a number of issues related to this topic. Whether you have an adult child who is struggling with a mental illness or someone else in your family is mentally ill, it might be a good idea for you to examine some of the potential benefits of guardianship.
Massachusetts residents should be aware of abuses taking place under guardianship and conservatorship arrangements. You may think you are unlikely to find yourself in this situation. However, according to Forbes, roughly 1 million to 2 million people in America are under conservatorship or guardianship.
When a person becomes incapacitated in Massachusetts, he or she may have identified a health care proxy to make medical decisions. However, this agent does not have the authority to make financial decisions and take care of assets.
You have just started planning your estate and are working through one of the many steps of coordinating a well-rounded plan. One of the things you will need to arrange is guardianship of underage children that you may have. At Curley Law Firm LLP, we have helped many families in Massachusetts to manage the details of coordinating guardianship.
Sometimes situations may arise for you, as a parent in Massachusetts, which prevent you from taking care of your child. When such circumstances arise, the court intervenes in order to place your child in the care of a competent guardian as long as is necessary, whether it be on a short-term basis or until the child comes of age.
We have written about some of the reasons for guardianship, such as an adult who is struggling with a mental handicap which leaves them unable to take care of themselves. Guardianship is a great way for people who are unable to care for themselves to receive the support they need on a regular basis, but there may be times when a particular guardian is no longer providing someone with the level of care they deserve. Becoming a legal guardian is an important responsibility, and some people are not ready to handle these duties.
While it can be unpleasant to think about, if you have minor children it’s recommended that you name a guardian in your estate plan in the event you and your spouse are deceased. The decision to name a guardian can be difficult for many people and you may worry that you’ll alienate friends or family by the choice you make. Because the process is so challenging for many parents, Forbes offers the following advice.
Many parents in Massachusetts take care of the special needs of their children with autism without a second thought as to their authority to be a child’s decision maker. However, when their child becomes a legal adult, things change.