Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esqire
Planning has become a way of life. Most of us have daily, weekly and monthly planners. We plan strategically in our careers and our investments, we plan our vacations and we plan for retirement. Yet too many of us fail to plan for our own welfare, (and by implication, the welfare of our spouses, children and other family members,) in the event that an illness or injury causes us to be unable to communicate our decisions or desires.
Planning for your future is a powerful way to gain peace of mind, but if your planning does not include provisions for the use of a healthcare proxy, durable power of attorney, or, if appropriate, Standby Guardianship, you may find yourself being appointed a guardian or conservator through the probate court in your county.
Remember, this is a person who will be legally empowered to make decisions about your medical affairs, business and day-to-day affairs and the affairs of your children under age 18. Also keep in mind that the court proceeding necessary to appoint a guardian or conservator is an emotional, public, time consuming, expensive and often difficult-to-understand process.
Guardians and conservators are persons appointed by the probate court to act on behalf of an individual, (called a ward.) In order for the probate court to appoint a guardian or conservator, the ward must be a minor or must appear incapacitated...
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by: Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq.