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Probate and Trust Administration

If your loved one has passed away or become incapacitated, you need to take action. Exactly what kind of action will depend on what kind of plan your loved on created—or didn’t create.

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Probate & Trust Administration

Tucson Guardianship & Conservatorship

What will you do if you or a loved one becomes incapacitated? Do you have a plan of action in place?

If you are over age 65, statistics show you will likely need long-term health care at some point in your life. Over 43 million family caregivers in the United States provided an billions of hours of care to adults with limitations in daily activities.

If you become mentally or physically disabled such that you are unable to manage your own affairs, the probate court will appoint someone to take control of all your assets and personal affairs through a Living Probate process. This process, formally called a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding, is often expensive, time-consuming, and humiliating.

Incapacity planning involves making decisions in advance of a physical or mental disability where you are unable to take care of yourself. In your plan, you state your wishes regarding how you will be cared for, and you give someone else, such as a spouse or adult child, power to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf.

Depending on your particular situation, incapacity planning could include a number of techniques to spell out your decisions regarding everything from paying your bills to making critical medical decisions. This includes creating a Durable Power of Attorney for financial matters or a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. Frequently, the best way to plan for incapacity is to create a Living Trust.

Living Trust Planning

A Living Trust can be a powerful tool to plan for incapacity. If your Living Trust has incapacity provisions, your loved ones can avoid a time consuming court proceeding.

Living probate proceedings (guardianships or conservatorships) are frequently complicated, expensive, and humiliating for all parties. This can be avoided by planning ahead and creating a Living Trust with specific provisions for incapacity. Then, when the trust creator (trustor) becomes incapacitated, a successor trustee has the legal authority to handle the financial affairs for the trustor. The Living Trust should clearly define how incapacity is determined, with specific provisions for how the trust is administered by the successor trustee to care for the trustor.

The attorneys at Kinghorn Law are able to help you determine if a Living Trust is appropriate for you. Each situation is unique, and your Living Trust must address your specific needs. Click here for additional information about how a Living Trust can help you.

Tucson Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney are important tools for taking control of your future. By creating a power of attorney, you can spare your family difficult decisions, protect your assets, and maintain your autonomy in case something happens to you.

The key is to know how a power of attorney can work to protect you and to make sure you create a legally valid power of attorney under Arizona law. Kinghorn Law can help. Our legal team works with clients to make a power of attorney (POA) that provides security in case the unexpected occurs. Talk with an attorney at Kinghorn Law for personalized assistance and to get answers to questions you may have.

Do You Need a Power of Attorney?

If you do not want a judge in court deciding what happens to you and your assets, you need a power of attorney.

Anyone, of any age, could become involved in an accident or could suffer some type of unexpected medical emergency, like having a stroke or a heart attack. If you are taken to the hospital and cannot communicate your decisions on medical care, someone is going to need to make choices for you on important care decisions.

If your accident or illness leaves you impaired and unable to make decisions on a temporary or permanent basis, someone will also need to step in and start managing your affairs. Someone is going to need to take care of your property and assets, decide where you live, and decide how you will be cared for.

If you make a power of attorney, you get to be the person who decides who makes your decisions and manages your assets. If you don’t make a power of attorney, then the court gets to decide who is in charge. That person might not be someone you would have trusted or someone who shares your views on medical choices and asset management.  This is a bad situation, as your future will be in the hands of whomever the court feels is appropriate.

Powers of attorney have limitations, though. They are only valid while you are alive, and therefore do nothing to help with the administration of your estate. In addition, no one is required to accept your financial power of attorney. It is not unusual for financial institutions to refuse to accept a power of attorney. If a power of attorney is not accepted, you may be required to go through the guardianship or conservatorship process.

How can a Tucson Attorney Help You?

A Tucson attorney can provide you with assistance in creating a plan for your incapacity that is legally valid and that provides the expected protections for you and your loved ones.

Give us a call at 520.529.4000 or contact us online to speak with Kinghorn Law about how our legal team can assist you creating a plan for you. We can also offer advice to those who have been named as an agent under a power of attorney or who must otherwise assume their role in making decisions for an incapacitated loved one. Call now to find out more about the ways in which we can help you.

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