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in Estate, Trust & Probate, News

The idea of guardianship (or conservatorship) took the stage recently with the coverage surrounding Britney Spears. “A guardianship comes into play when the court gets involved to determine whether or not a person is competent to make decisions regarding their health and finances,” explains Jay Nabors, a Cleveland-based attorney who focuses on estate planning. “The court typically steps in when a person doesn’t have durable powers of attorney for finances and healthcare in place, or when these documents are absent. Sometimes families without the direction of the powers of attorney fight over who should be the guardian of the person in question, and the court has to decide whom to appoint. Another instance would be if the person named in the powers of attorney is no longer alive or can’t be found.”

It can be costly to bring the court into an already sensitive situation. A perfect way to avoid any issue is to have the powers of attorney for healthcare and finances drawn up yourself—before you need them. “If you have these documents in place, you shouldn’t need a guardian. The person you choose to handle your affairs is already named in a legal document,” Jay notes. “In the event a guardian does need to be appointed, the person named in the powers of attorney will have a higher probability to be chosen by the court to take on that role.”

Contact Information

Jay Nabors jnabors@westonhurd.com – 216.687.3205