Jeff Fouts: “Estate planning attorney Jeff Fouts here. Let’s imagine that one day — it may never happen — but let’s imagine one day you become mentally incapacitated, unable to handle your affairs. Let’s imagine that you want your children to step in and make decisions for you and help you.
Great, no problem, except there is a problem. If you do not have proper legal documents, your children will not be able to step in and take care of everything they need to take care of. Just because they’re your children in no way means that they’re going to be empowered to make the all decisions that they need to make.
This issue is very important in a time when people are living ever longer and face an ever increasing chance of becoming mentally incapacitated.
Please realize that your children, just because they’re your blood children, doesn’t equate to permission to make all decisions for you. What oftentimes happens is they will end up having to go to the Probate Court to initiate a guardianship proceeding.
A Guardianship proceeding is a pain. It’s not merely an inconvenience; it is very emotionally painful. It’s also expensive. You should avoid it every way that you can. If we can ever help you in any way, maybe review your estate plan, just let us know. Thank you.”