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What is Living Probate and When is it Necessary?

March 3, 2022 Douglas Davis

No one wants to think about what would happen to them if they became incapacitated, but it’s a critical plan to have in place for your own welfare and the welfare of your loved ones.

Without an appropriate and legal plan in place, your family could be headed to the probate court even before you are deceased. Read on to find out how to avoid this emotionally difficult situation.


Conservatorship or Guardianship Proceedings


In some states a living probate is referred to as a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding. If you become unable to manage your own affairs – whether it’s because of illness or older age or other incapacitation – family members may need to seek court intervention to appoint a conservator or guardian. The person the court decides to appoint will be authorized to make financial decisions on your behalf. The same person or sometimes a different individual is appointed by the court to control everyday matters, which include medical decisions. These living probate proceedings are public, time-consuming, and expensive.


How to Avoid Living Probate


There are a few ways to avoid living probate, which the best way is fairly simple – plan and appoint someone to handle your estate planning matters in advance. This means putting together a medical power of attorney that designates an individual you would like to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. Likewise, a financial power of attorney names an individual to make financial decisions for you when you cannot. You can choose to appoint the same person for both roles or different individuals – it is up to you. It is important to note that some financial institutions have their own forms that must be completed to designate someone to access your account on your behalf. An experienced estate planning attorney can direct you to all the appropriate places to go to ensure these plans can be enacted if the time comes.


Use an Experienced Estate Planning Professional


Time is of the essence when dealing with medical or financial issues, so it’s critical to have the appropriate documents prepared in advance to facilitate these transactions if and when you are unable. Our team of experienced estate planning attorneys can help guide you through this process and draft a comprehensive plan that will ensure your wishes are carried out without the pain and expense of a living probate process. Contact Davis Law Group today.