Guardianship

Estate planning should include planning for problems that can arise while the individual is still alive, such as problems that result in incapacity or other diminished ability to function.  This is particularly critical for elder clients.  Powers of attorney, living wills, and designations of health care surrogate and preneed guardian should be addressed when drafting wills or other estate planning documents.  There are several mechanisms designed to deal with some or all of the problems of incapacity: court-appointed guardianship and voluntary guardianship; joint bank accounts; representative payeeships; revocable living trusts; powers of attorney; and “advanced directives” (living wills and designations of health care surrogate and preneed guardian).  Court-appointed guardianships and voluntary guardianships may be necessary if there is no durable power of attorney or standby trust, and in circumstances in which instruments drafted do not address the particular circumstances involved.  The Darby Law Group handles all aspects of all types of guardianships from the determination of incapacity and the appointment of the guardian through the guardianship administration.