People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will, unfortunately, eventually lose their capacity for making decisions. When this happens, if they don’t have someone who’s been given authority to act for them through powers of attorney, the only alternative is court proceedings that are known as guardianships and conservatorships.
There are many reasons why you would want to avoid guardianship or conservatorship. Not only is it an expensive proposition, but there are some other concerns, as well.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, presents another topic covered in The Alzheimer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Families, Caregivers and Professionals and discusses having powers of attorney in place to avoid guardianship or conservatorship and why that is so important for someone with Alzheimer’s, as well as their families.
Why You Want to Avoid Guardianship or Conservatorship For an Alzheimer’s Victim
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another one in our series of videos that’s directed most particularly to Alzheimer’s victims and their families. Again, this is another one of the topics that is covered in our handy Alzheimer’s Guide.
I want to give you some, maybe less than obvious, reasons why someone with Alzheimer’s really needs to have powers of attorney in place. The basic idea is that if you don’t have someone who’s been given authority to act for you through powers of attorney, the only alternative is court proceedings that are known as guardianships and conservatorships. In Missouri they call it guardianship for the person, conservatorship for your estate. In Illinois they call it guardianship of the person and estate.
Not only is it an expensive proposition, but here is some other concerns. First of all, it’s a matter of public record and that means anyone who bothers to look at the papers at the courthouse will know that you’ve needed to be the subject of guardianship or conservatorship. That generally is not something that we would want to advertise. And in those proceedings there will be filed an inventory and an accounting. So, your financial affairs won’t be private anymore either. Those are going to be a matter of public record. And there’s just an awful lot about that to say, “That’s not for me.”
So, what’s the solution? The solution is get those powers of attorney for property and healthcare in place. Thanks.
For more information on Alzheimer’s, Powers of Attorney and Guardianships and Conservatorships, visit these articles:
- Alzheimer’s and Why Powers of Attorney Need to be Durable
- Alzheimer’s and the Powers of Attorney for Property: Why the document’s specific language matters so much
- When Will Guardianship or Conservatorship Be Necessary?
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.