Hopefully, we will all lively happily and in good health until the end of our lives. The reality, however, is that some of us will lose our ability to think clearly as we age. Who would take care of your finances if that should happen to you? More specifically, do you want to decide who will control your money if this should happen to you?
When an individual shows signs that he or she is no longer capable of managing his or her financial affairs, a petition for an involuntary conservatorship or guardianship petition is often filed with the Court by a concerned relative. If granted, this means that the petitioner will control your assets. Of course you have the right to oppose the petition; however, a frightening statistic shows that as many as 94 percent of all involuntary petitions for conservatorship are granted despite any objections by the subject of the petition. At that point, you would have little choice in the matter but you do now.
There is not much that you can do to prevent your incapacity, but you can decide who will control your estate if you became incapacitated. Estate planning options such as a durable powers of attorney, a living trust, and a will can all afford you the opportunity to decide now what will happen to you if you become incapacitated. Most importantly, they provide you with the ability to name someone you trust to take control of your assets in the event of your incapacity, taking away the possibility that a court will make that determination down the road.