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Court Appointed Guardian To Manage Your Affairs

What If You Become Incapacitated?

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While it is not likely to happen to any particular person, any of us could become unable to make our own decisions. It seems to be human nature to think it "won't happen to me." But it does happen. If it happens to you, and if you don't prepare for the situation by executing the appropriate documents:

  • Other people will make decisions about your medical care without your input. You will have lost control.
  • You will leave the people you care most about in the distressing situation of making difficult decisions with no guidance.
  • You could easily end up with the people you care most about fighting among themselves. 
  • You could even end up with a court appointed Guardian to manage your affairs. It may be the person you would choose to make decisions - but it could also be somebody the court favors who doesn't even know you. You have no say in the decisions he or she would make. There is also cost involved, including the cost in getting the person appointed and a fee for services. 

Health Care

The documents which permit you to stay in control of your medical treatment when  you are unable to communicate are known as Advance Healthcare Directives, or more simply as Advance Directives.

Advance directives are accepted in every state, and are available for free.

The three types of advance directives are:

  • Healthcare Power Of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • Do Not Rescuscitate (DNR) Order

With a Healthcare Power Of Attorney, a trusted person is appointed as a health care proxy to make medical decisions for you.  It may be distressing to even thrink of writing such a document, but the emotion has to be worked through to get to the result that you want. Our documents provide information about how to choose such a person and discussions to have with him or her.

A Living Will describes what you do or do not want in specific situations. It is worth keeping in mind that young Terri Schiavo thought about the possiblity of becoming incapacitated and apparently told her husband what she wanted. However, the lenghty battle to enforce her desires was due to the fact that she didn't execute a Living Will or any of the other documents necessary to enforce her wishes.

A DNR lets medical personnel know not to revive a person at the end of life when lungs or heart stop.

Mental Care

The way to stay in control of mental treatment if you become incompetent is to execute an Advance Directive for Mental Health. Depending on the state in which  you live, this may be part of one of the health care documents or a separate document.


You can stay in control of your finances by designating a trusted person as your agent using a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances. Other options to consider:

  • Transfer assets into a trust.
  • Transfer assets into a business entity such as a corporation or LLC.
  • Having a court supervised Guardian of your choice appointed. Unless the court actually appoints a guardian now, your arrangements won't be binding. However, they are likely to controlling for a court unless there is strong reason for the court not to comply with your wishes.

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