One of the biggest problems that you’ll face when planning your estate is what to do with assets and dependents when you die. Assets are easier to deal with since they can easily be transferred to other owners. But what happens when you have children that need caring for and want your assets to go to them before they are old enough? The simple solution is to set up a conservatorship or guardian for them. Before you do, these are the things that you should discuss with an estate planning attorney when planning for guardianship or conservatorship in Chicago.
What is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is similar to guardianship but applies to adults. Essentially, a conservatorship assigns someone (or possibly a group of people) the ability to handle the financial affairs of an adult who can no longer handle it themselves. The best example of this is if your parents develop Alzheimer’s Disease and cannot make their own financial decisions anymore. A conservatorship lets you step in and take over their finances so that they are cared for.
What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal system where one person (or a group of people) is assigned the ability to make legal, financial, and possibly medical decisions for another. The best example of this is when a guardian fills in for the deceased parents of young children. Minors cannot function on their own in society in many ways, including making financial decisions or owning certain property. If they don’t have a legal guardian, then someone must step in to handle those things for them.
When planning guardianship, you are planning who will take over for you when you are not able to manage your affairs anymore, including who will be responsible for your dependents.
Should Your Estate Plan Include Conservatorship and Guardianship Preparations?
When planning for your estate, which option you choose depends on your specific needs. However, it can be a good idea to include plans for both conservatorship for yourself and guardianship for any dependents that you have.
Planning for conservatorship is especially important if you know that you have or have a high chance of developing a degenerative disease that will stop you from handling your affairs. Likewise, having guardianship plans for dependents is a good idea in any situation if you have assets that you want to go to them.
Your Estate Plans Are Not Complete Until You Discuss Them With an Attorney
If you are unsure if you require conservatorship or guardianship plans, it is best to discuss your estate plans with a qualified estate planning attorney. They can give you the best advice for making sure that your affairs are handled, even if you are not able to. Contact James C. Provenza & Associates, P.C. at (847) 729-3939 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment to discuss conservatorship and guardianship in your estate plans.